The tantrums of late are all brought to you by the STAAR test. For those of you who don’t know what that is, imagine your brain being forced to do something it’s not developmentally ready to do, and then you feel completely stupid because of your brain will not do what you want it to do. That is the STAAR test.
When my daughter was 8 months old, she could mimic patterns I beat on the little drum we had. She had an ear for patterns and music, and was very verbal even though she couldn’t use actual words. At the age of 5, she could recreate Van Gogh’s Starry Night with guidance from her art teacher, Miss Alma.
She’s now 9 years old and in the 3rd grade. She can read on a 5th grade level, but no longer likes to read. My little girl who could add and subtract without even thinking at age 3 and a half completely hates school.
Homeschool is not a viable answer because I have to work! I can’t afford private school, and so we are left with little choice. Without consulting actual brain scientists or child development experts, the amazing folks on the SBOE in Austin made the standards even more rigorous. And the wizards at Pearson Learning didn’t consult with any actual brain scientists either. Let me say right here, I’m for learning. I’m a life long learner! I’m for teachers! I used to be one, and I really do like my daughter’s teachers. I’ve liked all of her teachers, and I know they are doing their best. What I don’t like is having kids being tested in a way that is inappropriate for their age! I don’t like that my child hates school! I don’t like that children are sitting in school feeling dumb and inadequate when they aren’t.
What’s happening to kids now is heart breaking! The educational system in the US is not doing it’s job, and the answer isn’t more testing and harder standards that the children’s brains literally can’t comprehend because their brains aren’t ready for what they are learning yet.
I’m all for assessing a child to see where they are, and what the next step is. I used to give short informal assessments all the time, and as a parent, I still do. Assessments are valuable tools when used correctly. The STAAR test is NOT one of these tools. It has to stop before we have a generation of children who completely shut down and hate learning.
If you have a suggestion, or a rant, please leave it in the comment section.