In Her Shell
Friday, September 12, 2008
  The Hard Work Of Our Children
On the radio yesterday, an elementary school principal in Connecticut credited the subject line above, along with increased professional development for teachers, with getting his school off of the state's Failing list. Listening, I pictured dozens of small first- and second-graders bent over desks, scribbling away with their pencils, maybe a tongue or two stuck out the side of a mouth in concentration.

I couldn't help but fixate on that phrase: "the hard work of our children." It seems wrong, somehow. Maybe it's my cushy 20th century upbringing, but hard work doesn't seem like something children should be doing. I recognize, of course, that 'hard work' for them may not be hard work for me, and it's all relative. I know that children used to be put right to work on farms as soon as they could walk. But that work was useful work, and practical, and more often than not, designed for each little worker's abilities.

And I know about standardized tests. I know what they do to students and teachers when too much emphasis is placed on them. Their benefits are abstract, they matter most to politicians and faraway capitalists. Seven and eight year olds should be doing the hard work of reading and math and playing well with others, and maybe geography. Not multiple choice, timed reading or writing, or anything following the words "high stakes."
 
Comments:
yeah, what wonderturtle said.
 
And also, way to suck the joy out of learning right from the get-go.

My old district is concerned about the sharp difference in standardized test scores from one area of the city to another and is considering redistricting. As if spreading out the high scoring kids and thereby increasing each school's average scores will actually solve the problem of low achievement.
 
Bravo!
 
Thanks, chicas. Still trying to figure out which is better for me: keeping my head down and doing quiet subversion, or shouting out loud and maybe exposing (and possibly wrecking) my subversion.
 
Post a Comment



<< Home

My Photo
Name:

In a move that seems to amuse only me, I pull lines from the blogs I hit on the Next Blog button, and arrange them into found poem form.



April 2006 / May 2006 / June 2006 / July 2006 / August 2006 / September 2006 / October 2006 / November 2006 / December 2006 / January 2007 / February 2007 / March 2007 / April 2007 / May 2007 / June 2007 / July 2007 / August 2007 / September 2007 / October 2007 / November 2007 / December 2007 / January 2008 / February 2008 / March 2008 / April 2008 / May 2008 / June 2008 / July 2008 / August 2008 / September 2008 / October 2008 / November 2008 / December 2008 / January 2009 / February 2009 / March 2009 / April 2009 / May 2009 / June 2009 / July 2009 / August 2009 / September 2009 / October 2009 / December 2009 / January 2010 / August 2010 / April 2011 /


Powered by Blogger