Thursday, April 06, 2006

Frustrating is...

Testing day again. This time it is the wonderful math test that always gets kids excited. (Can you hear my tongue in my cheek as I say that?)

It's frustrating when I have to sit here and watch a couple of students waste their potential.

One kid right now is just filling in the bubbles. No computations whatsoever, unless he has some Einsteinian brain, which hasn't been the case. You know, there's a part of me that doesn't care, that says, "Let him rot." There's also a part of me that is pissed off because his frickin score is going to bring down the average of the entire grade's testing. Statistically, throwing a zero into any average is going to bring it down immensely. The others could all get 100% and our average wouldn't show it.

For instance, yesterday was the writing test. I peeked over his shoulder and saw that he tried really hard...on the first half of the test. He even wrote a rough draft on his scratch paper and everything for one of his paragraphs. The second half was left blank. Blank. Apparently, he was at his threshold. So even if he did very well on that first half, his second half brings his score immediately to a maximum of 50%--not passing.

It is frustrating because in this current climate of "No Child Left Behind," which sounds great on paper, reflects MY teaching. I'm his writing teacher. No one will see when the scores come back that Johnny Student didn't do half his test in writing or just filled in the bubbles in math. They will only see that he scored low. By default, it must be the teaching, in today's climate anyway.

See, the reason the politicians accepted the "No Child Left Behind" act anyway was because of whoever thought of the name. This was the masterstroke to the entire piece of legislation. No child left behind. Say it again to yourself. Doesn't that sound good? How could any politician vote against that? If someone voted against it, people immediately say, "Oh, that congressperson must want some kids left behind!" Then you get into the debate of which kids are you leaving behind. They start dragging socioeconomics into the mix. The congress looks to which standards are suitable for which people. No, they don't do that. No child left behind. I can't vote against that. I can't rant against that. If I do, I must be some kind of monster that wants kids left behind.

No comments: