• JR, I think you are a lot better at math than you say or think. People make it harder than it really is - it's step by logical step. Nothing else is really like that.

    But I agree with your blog that the TAKS testing has gotten out of hand. I know after my grandsons complete their TAKS tests at the end of the year they spend the last three weeks or so just sitting around in class doing nothing - watching movies, playing games. When I ask them they say, "It's because the TAKS are over what else should we do?"

    July 31, 2011 at 10 p.m.

  • Don't feel bad, JR. I posted a blog entry where I declared that 3 times two was nine and then another one where I said that "four score and seven years ago" was (?) (can't remember what wrong number I gave). No one ever corrected me. At least people actually READ and take the time to CALCULATE the formulas in your posts. ;) Time = Love

    July 31, 2011 at 9:35 p.m.

  • Thanks for clarifying, rollinstone. Told you I was bad at math! But yes, 3.25 times 4 plus 3 is 16, haha.

    July 31, 2011 at 9:12 p.m.

  • RS...thanks for clarifying....3 didn't work & I'm pretty stupid when it comes to math.

    July 31, 2011 at 8:48 p.m.

  • GET RID OF STANDARDIZE TESTING PERIOD !!!!!!! No Child Left Behind is mighty similar to George Orwell's Langange. Love is Hate and Faith is Fear.

    July 31, 2011 at 7:44 p.m.

  • X = 3.25

    July 31, 2011 at 4:48 p.m.

  • "I'm not here to argue. I'm just here understand where people are coming from." I really like that.

    When I was in school we were given a test every two years. It was given in our odd or even grades, I can't remember.

    Though they are obsolete in my home, I don't have anything against tests and testing, but you have to admit that we are letting the cart drive the horse when it comes to our obsession with the results of state mandated tests in public education.

    My son recently told me a story about a conversation he observed in his circle of friends. One said that he was quitting college because he wasn't smart. Another friend said, "I'm not smart either. Why do you think I spend all my time studying."

    I think it's impressive that a student is driven enough to understand his weaknesses and to then compensate for those weaknesses.

    That can't be taught... How does that happen? That's what I want to know!

    July 31, 2011 at 12:52 p.m.

  • Love the dialogue going on here! Rebecca, don't be sorry. :)

    Sugar - I agree 100 percent. Parents should be very involved in the education of their children, and mine were. I just feel there should be a restructuring of the standardized test. For one, let's not call it a standardized test. The name leaves a bad taste in a lot of mouths.

    Now don't get me wrong, I succeeded even when I was a guinea pig for the TAKS. (I was pretty much a Class A nerd.) My parents also guided me with life skills, but what I was looking for more in school was some structure to those skills. Of course, I self-taught myself all of these things, but I would have much rather had a test that used real life scenarios rather than, "Tom was standing on a 14.5 foot fence and spotted a dog at an angle of 45 degrees on the ground. What is the distance between him and the dog?"

    Again, I understand learning some of these things, and when I say life skills, my focus is more on mathematics. If you look at the scores this year, all students seemed to struggle with the math portion of the test.

    I feel there needs to be an evaluation and some student input on what "standardized" math is exactly. Truth is, if you're not becoming an engineer, then none of what you learn in TAKS applies.

    Keep the comments coming everyone. I really do enjoy listening to everyone's thoughts. I'm not here to argue. I'm just here understand where people are coming from.

    July 31, 2011 at 11:49 a.m.

  • Sorry JR! I can't afford therapy so I sent that rant. It was directed at no one, just letting off steam. The topic ruffles my feathers. The word "TAKS" ruffles my feathers, so I'm glad that the name of the test will change again. =D

    Oh! But, speaking of life-skills. Those things we need to know to function as responsible adults, we teach ourselves (seek out others to teach us) when we need to. It's amazing how fast you learn when your brain understands the necessity of the information. That's part of the "unschooling" philosophy.

    July 31, 2011 at 10:16 a.m.

  • One of the reasons I did not send my children to public school was because of the obsession with testing. While working on my degree to become a teacher, I sat in classrooms where teachers would start their day with TAKS practice sheets. When my now 19 year old DID attend public school, his homework consisted of TAKS worksheets.

    TAKS worksheets as homework? Really?

    That ONE year in public school gave him test anxiety that took years to overcome. From my experience with my oldest, I want to make sure that the only tests my children will have to worry about are the PSAT, THEA, SAT, and maybe MCAT. (My oldest is thinking of clinical Psychology, which would require medical school, and if he can't get in to medical school, IO Psychology.)

    That one year my son was in school he scored very well on the TAKS, BUT he was pulled out of his favorite class, computer, and sent to a type of TAKS-tutoring where he practiced test-taking skills every day. Also, he was made to fear that he would fail a whole school year because he didn't do very well on one section of the practice TAKS.

    I would rather my child learn than work on test taking skills. Learning should not be stressful unless that stress is coming from within to motivate in a positive way.

    When I was in college to become a teacher we learned about the negative effects of stress on learning. I don't want that for my children.

    Did you know that in some districts there are now practice tests for the practice tests? I recently read an article that mused that there were practice-practice-practice tests. That is NOT what education is about. That is NOT what I went to college for.

    There's a movement to peacefully opt out of these state-mandated tests. I did it by opting out of public education. These tests do NOT aid in learning, the results are used to collect data and compare the populace. Why else would we be so concerned with the scores for various races, scores for lower income families, and then reward those schools that can close that gap...

    When a principal tells a teacher to "bring the top down" in order to close that gap, you know these tests and their results, are affecting the school culture in a negative way.

    July 31, 2011 at 10:12 a.m.

  • Life skills? Shouldn't that be the parents' job?

    As for standardized testing, I am for it. I have no experience with TAKS, so I must defer to those who do and let them answer that with more knowledge.

    However, I was held (as were my schoolmates) to certain standards in school and we had our own standardized testing wherein we had to prove we could perform at a certain level. All students should be subject to a measurement of minimum standards. You don't meet the standards, you don't get a diploma. Simple as that.

    July 31, 2011 at 9:22 a.m.