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NCLB Outrages

Kids face too many tests in schools

Good Question: Where are all the Republicans? Aren't they supposed to be against government interference?

By Brian Arrington

The Adequate Yearly Progress tallies brought good and bad news for Walton Schools.

First the good news.

Carver Middle School got off the skids and passed the AYP after not doing so last year. The school had been subject to penalties for not passing the standards, but now is in the clear.

The bad news is that Loganville Middle School, after getting the AYP thumbs up last year, now gets a thumbs down for its performance.

What does it all mean?

Well, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, “Under the federal No Child Left Behind, schools are required to meet annual testing goals and demonstrate yearly progress measured by subgroups, including low-income, minority and special education students.”

Basically, the federal government is putting more pressure on our kids to pass yet another tests annually. In the case off the AYP, if a bunch of kids blow the test, the school suffers and is, again, subject to penalties.

I get calls from parents all the time telling me their kids are stressed out over all the “life-altering” tests they are forced to take.

I speak with school administrators who say they think all this testing doesn’t do much for a child’s educational growth.

My wife is a teacher in Gwinnett and says she can barely keep kids on track while learning basic curriculum — reading, writing and arithmetic — because she is forced to prepare them for a new test that if, God forbid they fail, could cost them a year of school or force their school to spend a year in the penalty box, get labeled as a “bad school” and even worse, face the ridicule of other students who go to the “good schools.”

“Ha, ha. You go to Loganville Middle School. You guys can’t even pass the AYP,” says the bully.

“Shut up. We did the best we could,” says the playground victim.

“Well that’s not good enough,” the bully replies as he prepares to give his prey a wedgie. “President Bush says so stupid.”

What ever happened to just going to school, listening to your teacher, eating lunch, playing kickball in gym and trying to do well on pop quizzes and end of the week tests?

Is it so bad in our schools we need the federal government to step in and take charge of our students’ education?

Where are all you Reagan Republicans?

I say teach the kids what they need to know, spend time on creating quality students not building test-taking robots and get a diploma in their hand.

Going to school is stressful enough for a bulk of our kids, there’s no need to straddle them with “pass/fail” labels handed down by the hands of our government.

— Brian Arrington<
The Walton Tribune
2006-07-16


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