Every sane person knows that the No Person Left Behind testing mania is merely going to prove, in the long run, how difficult it is to educate the most difficult children. They’ll be the youngsters growing up in poverty, with shattered homes and shattered lives all about them. Finding a way to help them learn enough to show proficiency at math, reading, writing and any other subject is going to be quite a chore.
I’m not sorry that we, as a nation, are trying to make certain every student succeeds. But we are fooling ourselves if we think that’s possible. All we can do is try ever harder.
So I can live with testing, though I wish there was less of it.
It does help us see that students in West Hartford aren’t doing as well as they should. This is a rich town with solid schools. The kids here, with some exceptions, are blessed with abundance. I’m concerned that they are using that wealth to master computer games, improve their soccer playing and watch plenty of movies that exceed their emotional depth instead of buckling down to secure the education they’ll need not just to do well as adults but to thrive someday.
This town should have higher scores than it does. We all know that.
And we ought to start asking ourselves why they aren’t better. From what I can see, it’s not the schools that are failing. It’s all of us.