Sunday, October 22, 2006

Kindergarten is Hard

I just had a conversation about this with a friend yesterday who is a public school guidance counselor. It seems the wonderful "No Child Left Behind" act continues to do damage in making even kindergarten a place where teachers are stressing academics. It frustrates me to no end that teachers are being forced to teach so that children will perform well on the standardized tests. And it's not the teacher's fault - they know that if kids do not do well on the tests the blame falls to them - not the test/system. I'm all for kids having a quality education, but it's ridiculous to hear that kindergarteners are expected to be able to recognize on sight over 30 words as they finish kindergarten. This kind of environment is stressing little kids out and starting the neverending cycle of feeling like they aren't smart enough to compete. And it's not just the public schools - so sending kids to private schools isn't going to be any better.

Balancing Work, Play in the Classroom


Joan S. said...

Have you any thoughts on how we can make things better?

Erika said...

Nothing that wouldn't involve restructuring our entire education system in this country. :) I'd like to see teachers be able to get back to teaching for overall enrichment rather than just so that kids can pass the standardized tests. We all know that the way a child does on a test does not necessarily sum up how well they know the material. I fear that because there is so much focus on the tests that the kids feel the stress that the teachers are feeling and that is never a good situation. Do I think that all standardized testing should be done away with? No, but it needs to stop being the thing that determines everything about a child, about a school, and about a teacher. I also worry that because teachers are so focused on getting the information on the tests into their students that any other material not on the tests is left out. Aside from budget issues, it's one of the reasons that subjects like music, art, and phys. ed don't get as much time anymore.

Amanda said...

Erika I so agree. I am glad you brought up this topic.