Friday, July 25, 2014

If NYSED Were a Teacher...

Here is the rub:  If the New York State Education Department were a teacher, parents would be on the phone and NYSED would soon be called down to the principal's office.  In the hands of an apt administrator, NYSED would be sternly advised to change or denied tenure.  As it works out though, parents protest in great numbers (i.e., in Poughkeepsie), but instead of having any impact, future forums are cancelled and parents are dismissed as dupes.

NYSED continues its policies which violate basic teacher protocol.  If NYSED were a teacher, these policies would be completely unacceptable.

First, any tests that fail 70% of a class, let alone of NY's entire test-taking body, is a failure in itself.  The test makers, or those who set the cut scores, are out of touch with reality or, perhaps, too much in touch with some ugly political agenda. While politicians fail us, children will have their failure impressed upon them from a very early age.  They are the sacrificial lambs.

Second, the tests have "visceral" effects.  I do not see how this differs from child abuse, given modern definitions.  The tests cause children to become anxiety-ridden, agitated, possibly wee on themselves and/or throw up.  At the Success Academy, come testing time, teachers are given packets, including deodorizing powder to clean up vomit spills.  What kind of world have we created for young people?

The tests, and the required prep, take dear time away from students learning to enjoy art, music, social interaction, gym and life, in general.  It takes away from the ability of students to pursue their own interests.  Instead of choosing a library book to enjoy, students must open the same Pearson review book and set the "stopwitch" for timed practice.

The amount of time spent in physically testing students seems abusive as well, six days of long sitting.  Some children cannot sit this long.  Some children cannot focus this long.  I would argue childhood is the most important stage in a human's development.  And, it is, undoubtedly, compromised, if not ruined, by educational deformity.    No wonder these "deformers" won't practice what they preach upon their own children.  It is of little use to call your school's principal, Commissioner King, Mr. Obama, or even Mr. Gates, in this matter.  The government, instead of providing for the common welfare, is providing the Common Core--whether you like it or not!
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