Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Pivot of the School Year

This is the week that our children have been working toward all year. Every parent recently received a phone call from the elementary school principal emphasizing that every student should get a full night’s sleep and a healthy breakfast. We were advised to speak words of encouragement to our children on these very important days.

Yes, this is the week when every school-age child in the village must submit to the state assessment.

It sounds ominously Orwellian when stated in those terms, but I don’t think that I’ve been inaccurate in my description. I didn’t even need to resort to hyperbole. Once upon a time, these were called state aptitude tests, and then achievement tests. Apparently, the word “test” didn’t test well, because now the official moniker is the Ohio Achievement Assessment.

The entire school year pivots on this week. Even though there is still a month of school left, the last four weeks are consumed by an abundance of field trips, class parties, and rewards for good behavior. Once test (oops, there’s that nasty word!) week is over, there is definitely a relaxation of academic rigor.

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