An ad for this appeared on the sidebar of one of the blogs I was reading the other day. No, really, it's worth look, and if you're at all worried about how your child is testing in the local public school's annual assessments, you'll need it.
It's an invaluable resource!
Really. Don't let time go by and wait until your child is NINE before you worry about how he's doing on tests. They have a DIFFERENT book for that. This book is marketed for your seven-year-old. He needs it, too. We'd say you can never start too early, but we all know that children don't start these high-stakes testing situations until they're older and able to handle it.
In fairness, I have to tell you that back in the day when Patrick and G were younger, the pressure wasn't so awful to do well. That's because redistricting hadn't happened yet, and our "low socioeconomic area" included a nearly abandoned trailer park. Go us!
But my friend who had children at the school three miles away with a large "free and reduced lunch" population told me a different story. The children were all gathered for a pep rally. These tests are important. They mean money. Do well, and you'll see a new playground. Do poorly, and it's extra homework, no new playground, indoor recess and an all-around bad year next year.
When your kid is eight years old, that has an effect, doesn't it? But now that Patrick and G are older, the methods are a little more sophisticated at the junior high and high school. Show up on time and work on the test that day and that's one ticket into the bin. Testing happens for about a week, and every day some lucky test taker gets his or her name pulled for FABULOUS PRIZES! And a grand prize drawing is held at the end of test season. You won't want to miss this, folks.
I understand there needs to be "accountability" for schools. I think that ought to mean that the general public should get to help actually pick the curriculum and hire the staff. Wouldn't that be awesome? I know the first three teachers that would be gone, too, have a lot of seniority and have eaten a lot of sour lemons in their lives. Their butts would hit the pavement so fast, I'd be afraid of them breaking a hip.
Then I'd hire the young music teacher who was SO beloved of his students for a real position instead of getting rid of him due to "budget cuts." People who don't know their crap or who aren't professional or reasonably nice would also get the boot.
Then again, that's just me imagining things. Probably what would really happen if parents got to boot the teachers and hire "good" ones is that, the three really involved parents would cut every "mean" teacher that didn't give Tiffani an A in Science and called her out on her gossiping in class. I mean, this is the same district whose voters chose one of its school board members on the stupid weekly "mommy" column she wrote for the paper. One memorable column? How she thinks she has ADHD because she started cleaning the carpet after making a grocery list.
Maybe better drop that idea.