Take a look out of the window. There are a few obvious things that are tossed out of our schools that are IMPORTANT..yes, I will say it again…IMPORTANT to the educational system FOR CHILDREN that are locked out of the classroom.
If you can’t read it, or pass this on to a short sighted individual (which I hope you do), the items just out of reach are: Science, Physical Education, The Arts, and in the tree World History.
Learning to pass a test is only learning those skills. It is memorization by rote, writing under a very strict guideline, and is so easily forgotten once a test is over. The smarter already will work past all this <<and yes, I LABELED them. Get over it. There are smarter, more well rounded LEARNERS out there, who overcome the dumbing down of American students in many public schools.
Did you take offense to that? I’m not sorry at all. When was the last time challenging the students, engaging them on multiple intelligences and taking into account the different ways that people learn things, was part of your day to day curriculum? It’s beaten out of so many school districts, where the only real key thing is getting those test scores higher and higher.
Assessment on this level is killing the mentality of our youth. The bureaucrats buy into this: where are the lower and lower middle class workers going to come from if all the students could work on increasing their critical thinking, problem solving and creative skills?
I was once scolded by another teacher for teaching a student how to spell. I was told that the THIRD GRADE STUDENT could still phonetically sound it out when writing, and if it sounded like the word I could NOT help the kid find the correct spelling! I was told that if the principal of the school found out, I’d be in trouble. I am still outraged at this, six years later.
Another teacher, who had at the same time about 15 or so years to retire, told me that she hated the principal, hated the entire teaching system, and complained bitterly about the methodology that the city bought into. Would she do something about it, and voice her valid concerns? NO…well, not until after she retired, got her pension,and THEN..then she would to to Albany or Washington and lobby. Fifteen years of a disgruntled teacher, knowing things are wrong, letting fifteen years of students get washed away..until she got her pension. Sorry..I have wanted to write this one up for a very long time.
There ARE some great wonderful and AMAZING teachers out there. I know a lot of them. I know a lot get squashed in the system. I also know there ARE school systems out in the world with as close to perfect teaching methods, integrating all the curricula for the benefit OF THE STUDENTS, not the test scores that keep people in jobs.
These models are out there. We do not have to reinvent or start from scratch. America in around #25 or #26 on the world scale of education. Doesn’t that make you sick? And then we have the nimnuts in America who want to cut more, put more stress on already overstressed teachers (and if you don’t believe that, why don’t YOU spend an entire week taking care of not only YOUR kid but 28 others at the same time?), and seemingly not care a whit about what the students are going through.
We used to talk about the Well Rounded Individual. We don’t anymore. I don’t wonder why.