Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Knowledge is power....

I got T's MCAS scores in the mail today, finally.
Very happy and excited to see them....he did very, very well.

I've always had mixed feelings regarding the MCAS; it's hypocritical in so many ways, and truly is nothing more than the school's way of proving to the government that they are of a certain standing educationally.

At the same time -- because the schools feel pressure to have their children perform at a certain level, they are teaching children at a higher level, because now of course - they're being judged on the performance of the children. The downside, naturally - is that children can feel pressured to learn things a certain way that may not feel natural; they may feel a pressure to succeed, and an expectation that kids as young as 8 or 9 typically hadn't needed to feel previously. Or possibly shouldn't feel at all...period. But, there's an upside as well. Most kids are able to perform at the level of expectations - even exceeding those expectations. And so it seems that kids are learning things earlier and earlier - yet they aren't necessarily feeling pressured because they're like sponges and are capable of the work.

This isn't to say that is the case for every child; there are always kids who learn differently, or maybe don't test well in general. There are children with special needs and IEPs, and yet they are still expected to perform at that same level as children without those limitations - and how is that fair?

So while I'm happy and pleased to see that my little guy did so very well - I'll be just as happy if they do away with the MCAS as rumors have been suggesting. So long as it doesn't compromise the caliber of work that is being done, I don't mind the expectations falling a little shorter so that it's fair all the way around.

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