Tin Shop Tartan - Randolph County Alabama's Own Snarky and Surly Scot Gets All Native

Blogging from the suburbs of the Tin Shop community, Captain Plaid brings Progressivism, and a share of Quixotic angst, to the ridges and hollows of Randolph County, Alabama. Hardly a booster yet rooted here enough to fight, Plaidsters can perhaps find like cause in trying to build local solutions to global concerns. Education, environment, economy, entertainment, engagement ... Trust the Tartan!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

I Rest My Case on Standardized Test Focus!

My "Letter to the Editor" made The Randolph Leader today, although I 'd have used another title. I noted Penny and Vanessa reporting on the County and City efforts. Good gracious was that lots of text and statistics and edu-speak and ...! We should celebrate of course and yet if most of our schools had not made AYP then we'd have thought the schools not up to snuff.

Handley not making AYP was due to drop outs. Do schools make those decisions? I thought we wanted "rigor"? Additionally, I'll promise you that I've seen schools keep straight hellions in school so as to fluff the attendance numbers. We socially promote and have serious limitations on discipline and then these kids get to high school where there's a train wreck. Once they aren't getting their credits many will bolt. Some aren't being served that well but some simply aren't suited for traditional settings. That's reality folks! I'm a bleeding heart for certain yet I know this to be true.

I've seen a registrar/counselor spend hundreds of hours designing bribes and stunts to get kids to come to school. Last I knew parents were the ones making the decisions on getting up the kids and then making them darken the doors! Yet schools get judged on this factor?

I was pleased to read that special education students tested high enough to make AYP yet noted that had not been so in the past. I've taught tons of kids with various learning disabilities and other limitations. Yes, any child can learn. Still, expecting all special education students to do all of the things NCLB does is just plain bent.

I'd thought that perhaps County and City numbers might get covered this week yet I'd never dreamed we'd get this detail. I hope folks will consider my concerns. Useful to have some testing but to live and die by it is simply flawed. Peace ... or War!