Tuesday, February 09, 2010

testing and snow gone wild

An interesting discussion of testing can be found on the liberal blog site, Dailykos.

Would it surprise anyone that many liberals are interested in education? Check out Testing Gone Wild.

We need a new test, which I call the PSI, or Parental Stupidity Index, or "How crazy can parents be???? Or maybe we don't need such a test... Slack jawed wide-eyed staring in bedazzled wonder should suffice. Evidently parents are spending thousands of dollars for copies of the test used by the New York Public Schools for selecting "gifted" students for special placement and then using that test to prepare their nice average kids for special placement opportunities in first grade and kindergarten. They are spending thousands more for coaching and test preparation. A whole industry has grown up for the purpose of sneaking kids into "gifted" programs. Fortunately, in many small schools like Clear Spring, all children are known to be gifted and creative. It is not something you need to be tested for. It is expressed day to day through what the kids do and learn.

You can't blame parents for wanting to give their own children every possible advantage in an educational system we all know to be broken. We all want to prepare our children to compete in the now global marketplace. But what if we were to invest in a full-fledged educational renewal instead? Devise a system of education in which the talents and "gifts" of each child might be revealed and celebrated? It is what we do at Clear Spring School.

The day here in Arkansas is exquisite. The overnight snow covers everything, and there is no way human beings can create such beauty. In my wood shop, I'm inlaying stones as the final part of the walnut and maple table before the finish is applied. The stones are used to cover defects in the wide walnut plank, becoming like pebbles dropped in a pool, with the ripples of grain moving out from the place of impact.

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