Teaching the 3 R’s shouldn’t be all that hard. Should it? According to the progress of the Memphis city schools, it must be harder than teaching a cat to play fetch.
Last year the local news reported that “out of 194 MCS schools that have federal AYP considerations, 33 schools, or 17 percent of the district, met those requirements.” That means eighty-three percent FAILED!
Strategies the district has used to increase test scores (which have worked soooo well! <sarcasm alert>):
1) Don’t fail anyone in elementary school, and higher up if we can get away with it.
2) Let them use calculators on everything since they can’t actually do math.
3) Eh, forget letter grades. Let’s institute our own meaningless system.
4) If a parent asks a teacher to assist by communicating to help aid a child in progressing— nah, then we’d have to do that for everyone.
5) Forget teaching things kids should know; we’ll just teach them the TCAP
Mr. Smarty-pants, whose IQ is higher than mine and is reading my college cell biology book for fun, has less than stellar grades. He lacks motivation in the less than exciting courses, and the CLUE program (gifted and talented program), which pulls kids out of regular classes, is an absurd method of keeping smart kids motivated. It frustrates them when they miss a lesson and the teacher is less than eager to bring them up to snuff. Granted, some teachers are very nice and cooperative, but others have proven rather lacking in the caring department. Then there’s the whole test teaching methodology and handing kids calculators before making certain they can DO the math. I have other complaints, but I’d rather not write a book on this.
It’s nearly time to apply for admittance into our desired middle school(s) of choice. The “best” middle schools, and I use that term loosely, require certain grade minimums to get in. I can understand this, although how them plan to implement that next year when no one actually has letter grades anymore, is beyond me. The issue I have is that out of all the schools in Memphis, a whopping 3 have decent marks. All the others fall into meh or wth, with my neighborhood schools falling into the WTH?! category. So where does that leave us? ALL the middle schools near me are horrible and moving is, sadly, not an option. So, looking at the entire city, I find, oh one he may be able to get into and maybe it doesn’t totally suck, but then again…. There’s one a little closer, but even though it scores an unimpressive 3 out of 10 according to www.greatschools.org, the requirements are still such that Smarty-pants has probably blown his chance to get in.
I plan to apply for financial aid for private school. If I get it, YAY! If not, well, maybe I should ship him off to my sister. (She might murder me, so don’t tel her.)