A national push to make public schools more rigorous and hold teachers more accountable has led to a vast expansion of testing in kindergarten. And more exams are on the way, including a test meant to determine whether 5-year-olds are on track to succeed in college and career.
Yes, you read that right. We’re not talking about tests that pick out genuine disabilities like Asperger’s Syndrome, dyslexia, speech impediments, or similar. No, all kids will now be taking tests beginning in kindergarten so that administrators can “identify the critical thinking skills that employers prize.”
I remember only a little bit about kindergarten, but it involved coloring, glue sticks and safety scissors in the kiddy equivalent of a cigar box, and one monumentally successful Easter egg hunt by yours truly (I got the coveted silver egg and won a large chocolate bunny).
But now it seems that kids will be learning how to be good employees. So much for “children’s garden.” It will now be known as “kinderfabrik.”
And, on a related note, all of this test-taking over the last decade or so has really paid off for our newest crop of high school students approaching college: SAT scores are lowest since 1972.
One thing I don’t agree with in the SAT article is the “blaming” of minorities for lowering the SAT scores. Um, why aren’t minorities getting the same education as white kids? This whole “No Child Left Behind” thing was supposed to help equalize educational disparities between poorer districts and richer ones. You can’t say, “Well, test scores are down because a lot of non-white children are taking the test.” Those non-white children are supposed to have the same education as white children!
And, honestly, how hard is it for the SAT to make a separate data category for kids who don’t speak English as a first language, so you can separate them from the others? That would make sense, since it would allow you to track their progress and see if you’re doing a good job helping them learn English.
If we had a kid, we’d have to find a way to homeschool, because public education is just getting ridiculous.
This, unfortunately, gives me an idea for a story. It will be set in the future where the government regulates all forms of art (and who get to make it). But those people who are born creative will not be denied.