Lost Arts studio

A lot of the fiber arts I enjoy are things like tatting, netmaking, chair caning, and even weaving, where people will come up to me when I demonstrate and solemnly tell me, "That's a lost art."

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Location: SW Outer Nowhere, Michigan, United States

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31 March 2008

Random Thing I Forgot

(I'm still blaming this cold.)

The other random thing I meant to post about, which I just remembered, was about parent-teacher conferences and the No Child Left Behind act.

Our third-grader maxed out on the reading section. (Did I ever mention that we really really like to read in this house?) He got 411 out of a possible 411.

He learned to read by having Calvin and Hobbes read to him. Which probably explains a lot.

Then he took the STAR reading test, which claims he reads at 11th grade level (??) and says

"(child's name) likely reads for pleasure, information, and academic purposes. He can use indexes, glossaries, and footnotes in textbooks. (child) likely previews chapters before reading and takes notes while studying.

At this level, (child) needs to continue to read nonfiction materials, classic literature, and the daily news. . . . For optimal reading growth, (child) needs to continue recreational reading on a daily basis, ... identify bias, persuasion, and propaganda within text, and learn strategies for acquiring specialized or technical vocabulary."

O-kay. He's 8. Eight. Let's cut him a little slack on classic literature or learning to identify propaganda, eh?

And the stupid No Child Left Behind downside of this is that no matter what he scores in the reading section next year, even if he maxes out AGAIN, his achievement level will be:

"NO IMPROVEMENT"

And the school gets a ding against it, because the pupil showed no improvement.

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9 Comments:

Blogger Lucia said...

We are singing out of the same hymnal, sister. My daughter won't be improving on her math MCAS this year either.

I think MA does that "all schools must improve" thing too, but I think it's in terms of aggregate/average scores, not per kid. And you would think even the board of education would be smart enough not to penalize teachers for having gifted kids. Oops, I forgot: board = plank. As in thick as a.

3:48 PM  
Blogger Julie said...

I hate hate hate the test-based crap schools are doing these days, precisely because of stories like the one you just posted. Of course I could rant for hours about it, but I suspect I'll just be repeating what you've thought, anyway.

Keep fighting the good fight.

And bravo on a kid who likes to read! YEAH!

3:52 PM  
Blogger Rose Red said...

OK, that just sounds like a bad system - a kid who maxes out the test should get praise, not "no improvement".

5:40 PM  
Blogger Donna Lee said...

I agree with Julie. The 'teaching to the test' stuff that goes on and passes for education is awful. I am grateful that I have children who all like to read. They didn't get that from school but from having parents who encouraged curiosity and finding answers. No child left behind sucks.

8:41 PM  
Blogger Beth said...

That just makes no sense. Why isn't there an achievement level for Perfect?

Well, I'll be looking forward to that next year with both my kids. E has not taken one of those yet because the switch happened when he was between testing years.

We had good news at P's conference though! Our non-reader? Reads 121 words a minute! I guess that's really good, they only expect them to be up to 91 by the end of second grade. He's been lucky this year though, he has a teacher who adores him! Naturally, we feel the same way about her. :-)

3:20 PM  
Blogger Bells said...

what about just being freaking happy that a child in their system is doing so well? What's wrong with that?

In a few years when I'm teaching a child to read, I'm going to look to you for inspiration. You're clearly doing something VERY right.

6:21 AM  
Blogger Roxie said...

The way school systems are dealing with "no child left behind" in Oregon is to just keep passing everyone regardless of achievement so we get highschool graduates who are functionally illiterate. And then they come to college and are outraged that they have to take remedial reading classes before they can enroll in the art classes they want. History of art requires reading. Duh!

9:27 AM  
Blogger aardvark said...

Have you considered homeschooling? He won't have to be held back by a system that cannot handle anything except mediocrity.

7:36 PM  
Blogger Knitting Linguist said...

Oh, don't GET me started on that stupid, stupid act. Grr.... Mine take the tests, but as they're currently in a Montessori school, no-one actually teaches to the test. In spite of that (or maybe because of it? imagine...) they all score well above state averages at that school. Imagine, teaching a kid to think instead of to take tests! Sigh.

5:54 PM  

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