It’s impossible to control the hopes and dreams we have for our kids. They start forming even before the sperm hits the egg. It’s an unconscious human thing that we do.
I didn’t want a kid who loves school, so it sucked that his favorite part of school is tests. I am always hunting links to send to him – headlines that argue my point for me so I can continue my charade of a parent who doesn’t push my own agenda.
At first blush the link seems like a keeper — maybe to send as a treat for a birthday or Hanukkah. But once I thought twice I realized I hate this line of thinking as well. I hate everyone writing about school because why are they even doing research? We don’t even have an agreed upon goal for school yet the public funds research about the efficacy of school.
So here’s this SUNY Buffalo announcement that shockingly schools measure test scores and not goodness. How could a school ever measure a person’s goodness? And if we have the goal for school of increasing a student’s goodness, then how do we know if there is improvement from the baseline?
Is there some sort of agreement on what makes a good person? We’d need that before we could know what defines making someone a better person. Better than good, I guess. This would be a great time to rescue the word gooder before it’s in the language arts trash bin for eternity.
School could work on making us gooder. Are we going to tell kids they are not born good? Because that’s some hard-core Christianity there. Jews believe we are born good. So we are going to have to stick with gooder if we are keeping church and state separate.
A lot of the article focuses on how much time it takes students to prepare for tests in a test-focused environment.
What I noticed, though, is that it’s actually the tests to prepare for the tests that matter that waste all the time. My son only studied for AP tests. Because as a homeschooler other scores didn’t matter. And I’m sure that’s true in the case of the kids suffering in this SUNY Buffalo study: Most tests don’t matter. The AP tests matter because for lack of anything better colleges count them. Colleges never find out about the classes you took leading up to the AP tests. They just assume you took them.
You could spend all that time being a good person. And, if you were not in school you could spend that time deciding what your own definition of a good person is. The point is that we are all in agreement — SUNY Buffalo, college admissions and homeschoolers — that kids should spend the least time possible studying for the tests that colleges requires. Which means you should take the fewest amount of tests you need to get into college. You’d be shocked how few that really is.