OK, so this last weekend, the boy had to spend a few hours on the computer doing practice Criterion-Referenced Competency Test, the Georgia educational system’s standardized testing. He did pretty well on the computerized pretest practice testing test tests, doing enough to satisfy the requirements, but jeeze, making him stay inside on 78-degree, breezy days just didn’t seem right.
The elementary school that the kids go to (they’re in fifth grade) always freaks out this time of year, and tries to trick parents into coming to school on a night a week before—usually with a student concert or play or something—and before the show starts, some administrator will get up and talk about how important it is for the students to do well on these test because it’s important for the permanent record and blah blah blah …
The upshot of the bait-and-switch (go for a concert, realize you have to sit through a warning about how important the testing is) is that they implore you to make sure the kids aren’t stressed out, get to bed early, eat good breakfasts the week of the testing. You know, all that good parenting stuff you don’t do the rest of the school year.
I can’t say the schools are teaching exclusively to the test, as the kids’ homework and subject matter has been varied, but I feel for the kids having to spend a whole week filling in little bubbles. I hated that when I was in school.