Had to forward this..... No Child Left! : - (
Kris D. Gutierrez
Moore Hall 1026
Los Angeles, CA 9009501521
> Begin forwarded message:
> > >
> > An op-ed length something to mull over the weekend.
> > ---
> > AND THE ANSWER IS:
> > TESTING DRIVES PEOPLE NUTS
> > Gerald W. Bracey
> > Test-Induced Craziness. Call it the TIC tic. Consider it Orwellian.
> > Orwell's Newspeak pounded the brain with certain ideas while
> > precluding others. So it is that many school people can today think
> > only of test scores and sanctions, and their cerebrums can no longer
> > entertain the idea of "education."
> > In Bennett, Colorado, Frank Maes, a father and middle school math
> > teacher whose brain is still capable of thinking beyond tests, told
> > the administration that his sixth-grade daughter, Nicole, would not
> > participate in the Colorado state testing program: "All it does is
> > label schools and kids."
> > OK, fine, said Bennett's administration, but if Nicole doesn't take
> > the tests she won't get promoted to seventh grade. This is official
> > Bennett policy. She took the tests.
> > Unlike some states, Colorado doesn't offer any "opt-out" provision.
> > punishes schools that can't round up all their kids on test day: as
> > grades Colorado's schools, it gives zeros to students who bailed out.
> > The state can take over schools with low grades and convert them to
> > charter schools which, given the low performance of charters, doesn't
> > sound exactly like a rational policy.
> > Meanwhile, Aberdeen, Washington schools suspended, nine-year-old
> > fourth grader, Tyler Stokes, for a week for not completing the state
> > test. Not for declining to take the test. Not for having refusenik
> > parents who kept him home on test day. For failing to complete the
> > test.
> > Tyler was doing fine until he hit a writing prompt that said, "Now
> > children, you're looking out the window and see your principal flying
> > by…." Tyler was supposed to create a fanciful story about the flying
> > principal.
> > Tyler didn't know what to write so he wrote nothing. Six times the
> > teacher commanded Tyler to write. Six times Tyler sat there. The
> > principal summoned Tyler's mother to the school to extract the tale.
> > No luck. Mom told reporters that he simply didn't know how to answer
> > the question. Tyler says he was trying to save face for the
> > administration: "I couldn't think of what to write without making
> > of the principal." Quite a dilemma.
> > He needn't have worried. Principal Olivia Carter was quite capable
> > looking foolish on her own. Her letter to Tyler's mother said, in
> > part, "The fact that Tyler chose to simply refuse to work on the WASL
> > (the test's acronym) after many reasonable requests is none other
> > blatant defiance and insubordination." She called Tyler's perversity
> > "a particularly egregious wound" to his classmates whose average
> > Tyler's zero torpedoed. Tyler's mom has joined Mothers Against the
> > WASL.
> > And from Texas, a state where high schools can lose 400 kids a year
> > and still claim that they have no dropouts, reports come of a more
> > commonly occurring form of child abuse. Four kids who don't speak
> > English very well and who flunked the Texas reading test twice, are
> > pulled from Judith Bingham's fifth grade each day "and taken to a
> > sixth grade teacher. He spends all morning teaching them 'new'
> > strategies. The strategies are not new but are (simply) presented by
> > yet one more person…While they are tutored, they get no P. E., no
> > Music or Library break." If they fail again, they have to go to
> > summer school and if they flub that, they get to repeat 5th grade,
> > thereby greatly increasing the probability that they'll leave school
> > without graduating.
> > Bingham: "I'm asking the public, Can't we do something to stop this?
> > Accountability is one thing; abuse is something else."
> > Not too many years ago, we spoke of "love of learning," "lifelong
> > learning" and "learning for learning's sake." No more. Just as
> > Newspeak closed off ideas the government didn't like, so the testing
> > juggernaut has come to preclude the idea of a genuine education.
> > Consider the long term implications. Who among children enduring
> > assaults upon their psyches will consider later returning to schools
> > as teachers?
> > The testing systems above are all state-level programs, but they also
> > function as part of the even more punitive federal No Child Left
> > Behind law. Using smoke and mirrors about high standards and
> > accountability, these programs are doing everything in their power to
> > destroy the concept of education. I can only hope that there are
> > recesses in the brain where Newspeak has not yet penetrated that will
> > let us one day look back on the TIC tic years and ask, "What on earth
> > were we thinking?"
This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Wed Jun 01 2005 - 01:00:04 PDT