Testing week

This is EOG (End of Grade) testing week throughout Guilford County meaning the last day of school should be this Friday… but no, we still have almost three weeks to go.

Starting next Monday our little minds of mush will all advance their studies of the heavens and earth through the use of audio-visual aids.  In other words, they will spend long days in dark classrooms watching reruns of Apollo 13 and The Lion King.  But first, parents have to get their kids through this week which will be chock full of the most stressful days of their educational careers.  I hate it.

For many families the anxiety of such high stakes testing is palpable as they turn to better living through pharmacuticals.  Benedryl to get their test-fearing kids to sleep at a decent hour, Adderal (aka ‘speed’) in the morning to make sure they are focused on passing the third grade.  I hate it.

Teachers hate it, too.  There were some educators at our party on Saturday and they were letting off some serious steam in advance of the week that will define if their schools will prove their worth in public education.  I hate it for them.

Accountability is a wonderful thing, but attaining it is killing the most important and essential aspect of assuring life-long learning: fun.  School just doesn’t seem fun for many kids anymore, it is a simply a chore that must be accomplished every academic day.

We’ll get through it and my children will advance to the next grade, as will 95% or so of all Guilford County students… but it is not about simple advancement anymore.  Real money and academic careers are made or lost on how well seven year-old children perform on standardized tests this week. 

Its just not healthy and I hate it.

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