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“They Don’t Get It”

I hear that a lot these days. It used to be mostly from various teens trying to negotiate the drama unfolding in their lives as they wandered into that no-man’s land between adult and child. These days it’s from adults trying to navigate the education scene these days.

So many people talking and no one listening.

The other day I was reading a post by a blogger I’ve been following for several years. Before there was such a thing as “blogging.” We all know spring is IEP review season. This blogger wrote about his daughter’s. Among the various elements, there was the discussion about the state assessment tests. She did not pass. There was discussion about what this means… and why said student needed to pass this test. Would she be taking a modified test?

While reading, all I could think about was what would happen to that child as she entered middle school and high school. A history of not passing the assessment test vs. teachers who will now be evaluated on how many students pass that test. As much as I would like to think that I would treat said child no different, I also have children of my own. The kind that will need expensive braces, I’m sure. What would I do with a student who I knew wouldn’t be passing, wouldn’t be showing significant gains, wouldn’t be following the graphs and charts drawn up by some computer program… ?

Isn’t that horrible? It literally makes me sick to my stomach of what would happen to that child? Test cheating scandals abound – has there been one single “miracle” story that hasn’t been debunked? – how fast will that child be labeled and shuffled from classroom to classroom to keep classroom test scores high.

It’s no longer pitting state against state for funding, it’s pitting parent against parent. Life’s a competition and your state has just mandated that your child will loose.

Of course, that’s not what these politician or reformers claim to want. They don’t get it.


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