This month marks the time when all schools in my state conduct the STAR test. It’s a standardized test designed, supposedly, to measure the success of what is being taught in the classroom.
I am of two conflicting minds about standardized tests.
First, as a parent, I am anxious to know that my child knows the stuff he is supposed to know, you know?
Yet another part of me whispers that standardized tests are a bunch of baloney and waaaay too much importance is placed upon them. Honestly, there are some children who are quite smart, but aren’t good test-takers and there is no way to account for that. My husband, who has a mild form of dyslexia, would have been one of those children.
Then another part of me thinks that there has to be some way to measure children across the state and the country, and the only way to do that is with a standardized test.
Then the anarchist in me says that they want to use the tests to decide too much about the strength of the teachers and the school when really there are variables like children who sleep in a room with seven other people, or who don’t eat breakfast in the morning, or whose mom and dad got in a fight the night before, and how would you like your paycheck to depend solely upon the performance of the employees under you?
But, we reported to the testing site bright and early this morning, and will continue to do so for the rest of the week.
As an aside, I left my son in the main waiting room, thinking that he would follow the example of all the other students who were going to the classroom.
As I’m driving by to go back home, through the window I see him sitting on a chair in said waiting room, reading a book. All the other kids? Gone.
So I have to swing all the way back around the parking lot, leave the Munchkinette in the car by herself (I swear God, I was only gone for thirty seconds, don’t report me to child services!), literally run into the waiting room and tell my absent minded son to get his butt in the classroom, and run back.