The Why Homeschool blog (link to left) just posted a good link to the Corn and Oil blog detailing "pushouts" in Indiana. Pushouts are children who have been pushed out of the public schools by one means or another. Homeschooling would be a great choice for these children, but so long as their parents are taxpayers supporting the "system," they ought to have every chance for a free and appropriate public education (FAPE). It's like, this federal law thing ya know, that they're kinda supposed to provide that. Actually they're supposed to provide that to every child in the district regardless of the parents' taxpaying or legal status.
But even with the fuzzy math we've been discussing before, the districts have figured out that if you just get rid of the poor testers and the kids with family or truancy issues, you look SO MUCH BETTER on NCLB testing scores. And we all know that those scores are greater than God Almighty Himself as far as the public schools are concerned. No, really, the scores are that important to them.
I was reading on someone else's blog... wayyy deep in the archives somewhere, some nutball saying that the kids aren't invested in the tests and it's not fair that the teachers get judged based on how the kids do on the tests. Know what? The MAP tests here are the first step to determine your eligibility for gifted programs. You'd better believe people like Patrick are motivated to do well on them when they're trying for a slot. Administrators even get a big rallly for the elementary students and talk to them about how important these tests are. Do well, and our school gets more money. That means nice playgrounds. Do badly, and our school won't have any money for fun things like ice cream socials or field trips. We want to do better than the other schools!
I don't think the pressure they put on these kids is fair, but if I'm paying taxes to the school district, there's no reason the district can't be accountable in some way to people like me in how they're doing. That does mean tests. We can't just have the schools saying they FEEEEEEL like they're performing reeally well, thanks (and hey, we have the kewlest school spirit colours!!). And they're supposed to be teaching every child that comes in their door.