Thursday, March 4, 2010

March Madness

I feel like the hands of the clock are in fast forward.  It's already March and I'm just getting used to saying 2010.    And of course with March it means that much closer to TAKS testing.  This is a BIG thorn in my flesh. 

My dislike for the TAKS actually started about 5 years ago when my oldest daughter was in third grade.  She did pass it all the way through elementary, but not without a lot of stress.  Last year, my oldest son made all A's in math but failed the TAKS - tell me how that happened? 

So much stress is put on the children during the TAKS testing.   And if they miss school, there is no retake.   
To me the TAKS testing is a very political movement.  And now, I find out that starting in the 2011/2012 school year, TAKS is going bye-bye.  I should be excited and happy about it, right?  Wrong.  According to the TEA's website, the new test, called STAAR will be even tougher. 

Do I want my children to excell and do their very best and be challenged?  ABSOLUTELY!  But this testing is all about numbers.  The schools are graded according to how well children did on the TAKS.  One very big burr under my saddle has been the fact that this test has nothing to do with their report card.  Yet, unless they pass, they could be held back.  There again, if my child is really struggling, maybe holding him/her back would be the best thing.   But if they are doing well on their report card, why would he/she be held back?

You might wonder if we test our oldest daughter since she is homeschooled.  The answer is yes.  She will have three days of testing in April.  But we aren't stressing over it.  I know when she's struggling in an area by her grades.  We can then work on that area until it is resolved.  That's the nice thing about homeschooling.  I know exactly what area to work a little harder on.  Unfortunately with public school, we don't get that.  The teachers have too many children in their classroom to focus on any problems one might be having. 

In conclusion, my first reaction is to just pull them from school and homeschool all of them right now, but that isn't possible just yet so in the mean time, I'll just keep venting!  Venting helps - right?!

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