stephanie's Reviews > Tested: One American School Struggles to Make the Grade

Tested by Linda Perlstein
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Sep 03, 08

bookshelves: teaching, non-fiction, 2008, absolutely-must-read, would-rec
Recommended to stephanie by: Chelsea
Read in September, 2008

so, i finally settled down and finish this thing. (i kept putting it off because my issues with the DOE/the election NCLB-renewal coming up are making me so upset i had to stay away.)

first: write letters to your congressional representatives. let them know that NCLB is a piece of junk, and you want it out of our schools. it doesn't provide accountability, it only provides numbers that are useless when trying to determine IF A CHILD IS LEARNING.

second: this book is very insightful. it shows one of the highest achieving schools under the NCLB legislation, and the effect on the administration, the students, and the teachers. to read some of the quotes from these THIRD GRADERS absolutely breaks my heart. they have so much pressure on them to take these stupid tests that they literally have breakdowns.

and the class (spoiler alert!) that everyone thought would fail scored 90 on the reading and 90 on the math. the response of their teachers? "that's funny."

because they didn't LEARN anything. they still don't know how to read, they don't know a lot of basic math, but they certainly know how to take the Maryland State Assessment Test. also: a third of the teachers left after the school year - at this amazing, highly achieving elementary school.

it also depresses me how much agency is taken away from the teacher. i'm all for things like pacing calendars, basic curriculum guides, things that absolutely must be learned by the end of the year. but every teacher has their own style, and every kid has their own abilities, and. and this book shows how you can't teach anything - you can't teach social studies or even science. (at least at my school, science gets some time - but at the cost of social studies and ELA.) to read the chapter about teaching after the test is over is incredible. the difference in both the kids, the teachers, what is taught . . .

something has to be done. something needs to change.


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