Sunday, October 22, 2006

Psychoanalyzing Farm Animals

A lot of fourth graders were patently unable to do so on a standardized test, causing scores of complaints from disappointed parents.

In the fable, a rooster, proclaiming himself king of the farm, struts into the cows’ pasture and Brownie, “the kindest of all cows,” worries that he will get stepped on.

After the rooster ignores Brownie’s concern, the cows play a joke. “As the king, it is your job to know everything that happens on the farm,” Brownie says. “That means you are the first to wake up. Then you must be the last to sleep.” The story ends with the cows laughing as the rooster crows each morning.

Can you imagine a 9-year-old failing to see the evil in having roosters crow? Perhaps the writers of this question felt that since they've already learned to hate their alarm clocks, they had an existing predisposition to perceive the sinister nature of this ever-evolving farm animal.

On the other hand, many kids might be thrown off by the test labeling Brownie "the kindest of all cows," not realizing she changes character on a dime (That's just one more reason I don't get too chummy with bovines).

Parents say their kids may not make the middle schools of their choice because much of the test was as confusing as the Brownie question. Check out their website.

The state says the test was not intended for admissions purposes. And parents said their outcry over Brownie the cow highlighted a broader concern that the city is yet again misusing standardized exams.

Mayor Bloomberg, though, hangs tough in asserting his right to use standardized tests however the hell he pleases. Who cares what the state says? Who cares if kids don't make the schools they request? In fact, who cares if they get left back unnecessarily? Who cares if we have the highest class sizes in the state, and even so, thousands of classes are over those sizes?

Mayor Bloomberg says things are fine, and that's all you need to know.

Thanks to Schoolgal

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