Friday, January 19, 2007

ITBS - (Irritible Bowel Syndrome??) Bubble Testing

Could you pass it?...and just exactly what wouldja pass, do ya think? Ewwwwww. Alright. It's not irritable bowel syndrome, it's the Iowa Test of Basic Skills. But I can't even tell you how similar . . . .

OK here's the thing. Not a year has yet passed in my #1 son's educational career that he has not had the indistinct pleasure of taking at LEAST one standardized test. He's in the third grade. It's that time of year. Spring - when we look for dogwood blooms, chirping birds, tulips and jonquils popping out of the ground, white patent shoes, and - standardized testing.

Here's the way this will go. Initially chapping my derriere will be the hunk of hooey we'll be handed about the testing being given (at great sacrifice of time, money, etc.) for the benefit of the students. However, shortly behind THAT memo will come another one, which will follow through and serve as secondary rumpus chapping and communicate (for our convenience) an online website where we can study - and, get this - practice test - our children, so that we can improve - IMPROVE??!! their scores.

WHOSE scores - the children's - or GASP- the school's???????

There I said it.

It's p-o-l-i-t-i-c-a-l, friends. Sure, I can use the results to give me indications of where my son is in his Lexile framework, particularly since AR star testing is such a joke. It gives me a good basis for how much extra stimulation he needs at home and in what areas, and I appreciate having that information, but lets be honest about the purpose of this testing. It is not given for my child's benefit. It is our SCHOOLs that are being tested, and the students are just the pawns.

Now then. Having said that and registered how burnt my butt is, (isn't THAT ladylike!!) I'll report that no more than I like it, what lights me up so dang much is that they (the classic THEY) think I'm such a dumb crackah. I don't MIND that my son has to TAKE these tests - I mean it IS good test taking practice - if his school is going to continue to be as incredibly stupendously superb as it is. Just come on out and say, (ok I know this'll never happen because not only am I not a DUMB crackah, but I'm not a naive one either) "We're doing standardized testing this week so that we can determine how well the school is doing percentage wise within the state. Please study your kids like CRAZY so that we get good scores, we rate great, and this school continues to be able to get good funding, good teachers, a nice extra county stipend for their paycheck, blah blah blah." I would appreciate that honesty.

On the subject of school, today I am wearing, for the first time, my amythyst teardrop pendant that I got for Christmas. Well. I got it set for Christmas. The amythyst was a gift from #1 son last year. Second grade year. He won it for me. In a contest. A writing contest. Essay. They were given a title to write about. Here's the title:


Here's the way it went. The whole thing went down without my knowledge. Several weeks before Mother's day, a local jewelry store sponsored this contest. It was many elementary schools wide but by grade so that only same age children were competing with each other. Anyway, when #1 son won second place, his teacher called handsome husband to come pick up the certificate and essay so it could be my mother's day gift. Handsome husband goes to school, picks up packet, brings it home, and #1 son gives it to me for my mother's day gift. I read the essay, then handsome husband explains what has transpired during the past few weeks, and tells me that #1 son has won the second place in this essay contest of 1200 students. When I told my Mama that story, she said that was HER mother's day gift.

So now #1 son and I go to the jewelry store to pick out our stone. I wanted him to choose it since he won it for me. We knew since he won second prize it would be something other than a diamond and I felt as though there would be several choices. There were - the owner of the jewelry store brought out a tray of beautiful loose stones and told us to choose whichever one we wanted. There were many stones, and many shapes and sizes, and my son chose the most lusciously divine oval amythyst for me.

It sat in the jewelry box until the beginning of December, when handsome husband asked what I wanted for Christmas from the boys.

"I would luuuuuve to have my mother's day amythyst set into a pendant. I'll even show you some pictures of ones I like. How's that?"

So he and our jeweler designed one just for me. There's not another amythyst pendant just like this. First the stone was won for me, then the pendant was designed for me. I feel so very special today with it on. I guess it's couture jewelry - better than Harry Winston!!!


1 comment:

doodles said...

would it be wrong to say I despise all school systems. It all boils down to $$$ and it shouldn't be that way.

Now about that amythyst...I think you should send that piece of writing to Readers Digest, Womans Day, Redbook, Ladies Home Journal...well you get the point. How sweet is that. I love your boys.