Today I proctored End of Grade testing in my nephews' school. I worked with a fifth grader and a seventh grader on testing for Math. Yeppers. Me. Math.
Anyhow... there are two parts to the test -- calculator assisted and non-calculator assisted. The questions for the calculator assisted were like this:
A bell rings once a minute. How many times will it ring in one hour?
One student answered "20" and the other answered "45." I felt my eyebrows start to twitch....
The other part of the test, the non-calculator questions were thus:
You have two triangles that are similar. Which sets of lines are comparable?
Now, the student is to examine two drawings of triangles that are the same except one is larger than the other. Correct answer, obviously, is all of 'em. With BOTH kids, they picked up their pencils and started writing down numbers like crazy! To what end?? That wasn't going to tell them something they had to visually compare!
So, here's what I realized.
Public school, and no child left behind, are dismal failures. Parents are failures. Our society is a failure. In short, we are all failures. Why? Because we have forgotten how to think and, thusly, we have let our wee ones fall into the same trap.
How hard it is to talk with your child instead of leaving them with the TV? How hard it is to read a book, share a song, walk in nature, or develop a hobby (besides ball of some sort -- which I think is fine -- but there needs to be more!)?? How hard it is to let, no, encourage a child's natural curiousity lead their learning?
Holey moley. No wonder I want to weep when I get 'em in college -- they don't know an hour has 60 minutes or that by simply opening their eyes they can learn a lot.
Who's with me? Let's dump all this standardized learning and get back to basics! Remember, these are the people who will not only run the world one day, but will also select our nursing homes...