How's that for a title, eh?
hee. [taking a cue from F$#% Cancer]
Seriously though, I hate these tests. For the uninatiated it is a standardized test given to every student, every other year, in every subject. And it sucks. The theory behind them is that if students are able to pass them then they will "know" all the pertinent information they need for their grade level and we will all have smarter kids! YAY!
The trick to these stupid tests is that they are merit based, in that, the schools have to meet a quota to receive federal funding - if they fail to "pass" XXX number of children their money is taken away. This turns it into a game of "Teaching for the test" wherein the teachers are forced to spend their time covering a litany of information provided by the gov't that is 1. too much information to cram into one year 2. stupid and 3. useless.
For example: My kids knew the capital of China before they knew the capital of Virginia while in the first grade.
Why am I bringing this up? Two reasons - First, I hate the tests and what it makes the teachers do. Second? The eldest, who has not missed a day of school all year, wanted to stay home this morning with me for a few hours to have coffee and hang out until Dad could take her in late. She never does this, but today she wanted to, but no....she couldn't. Because? She had a freaking SOL this morning. This child has already taken 3 AP exams - what the heck is she taking stupid SOLs for? So, instead of getting a few more minutes of hanging out with my daughter, watching Good Morning America and laughing with her favorite crush, Sam Champion, she had to traipse off to school to fill in the circles of yet another useless test.
Now, this brings me to another story I was reminiscing about this morning. This was the eldest's first grade year in school. Our son was in second grade. One day they came home from school and we noticed while helping them with their homework that each had a "special" folder. Daughter's was for reading assistance and our son's was for math. I asked them what was going on and they said they were tested and they failed so they were put in special classes to help make them better at their respective subjects.
Oh, no they didn't.
I promptly called the school and soon had the Principal on the phone. After this conversation I think this woman is STILL talking about me.
Me: Yes, Mrs. P. I understand you tested my children and placed each of them in a remedial course?
Mrs. P: Why yes we did. They need it.
Me: Well, it is my understanding that you cannot place a child in remedial ANYTHING without first talking to the parents, is this correct?
Mrs. P: Well, yes. But we hold the right to act accordingly in the best interest of the child and WE felt it was best that your children be placed in these classes.
Me: Remove them.
Mrs. P: We can't. They have been tested and are considered canidates for these classes.
Me: Remove them. NOW.
Mrs. P: We won't. They need this instruction.
Me: I am their parent and I don't think they do. Remove them now and place them back in their regular classrooms.
Mrs. P: No. Our ruling stands.
Me: I want them in the regular classes now and if you won't honor my wishes I will remove them from the public school system by tomorrow.
Mrs. P: If you do that Mrs. Pooldad we will be FORCED TO TAKE YOU TO COURT.
Me: BRING IT ON.
That is an honest to God true rendition of that phonecall. I was not kidding. I said it.
What this dumb woman didn't realize is [and some of you tadpoles do] is that I had been through the court system with the kids' father so many times I was on a first name basis with the Deputies that guarded the courthouse. [that is not a joke] Court didn't scare me and she was NOT going to intimidate me with her OMG! power. My kids. MINE. Back off and take your stupid tests with you.
The kids were removed from the remedial classes and placed back in the regular classes the next day.
Flash forward 5 years:
Daughter's elementary school graduation:
Mrs. P: Oh Mr. and Mrs. Pooldad you must be so proud of your daughter. She won so many awards this year [names them off]. She said this as if they were the ones worthy of every achievement the eldest had obtained.
Pooldad: Yes, we are incredibly proud. By the way aren't you the same administrator that threatened my wife with court if we didn't keep her in remedial reading in first grade?
Mrs. P: [looking straight at me] Um, well....um..yes?
Pooldad: Glad it worked out for you. [We turned and walked away.]
Sigh. I hate the public school system sometimes.
*SOLs = Standards of Learning Tests