Thursday, August 30, 2007

One of the 37 Reasons

For years, I've quipped that I've had at least 37 reasons for homeschooling my kids and the one you get any given day depends on my mood and the humidity.

But this one's a biggie, described in a heartbreaking diary over at DailyKos today. Teacherken writes a lot of good stuff about education, but this post is particularly poignant, based as it is on what's going on in his own classroom now.

This past Monday my three non-AP classes had their first quiz, on the first chapter of the material in the textbook. It was worth 25 points for 25 answers. It is the same quiz I have given each of the previous two years, since we got a new textbook and began teaching Government in the 10th grade. The first year the scores were perhaps a bit weak, last year a bit weaker, and this year they plummeted. And I have no doubt as to the reason. It is due to No Child Left Behind.

His students are the victims of those political decisions that have made scores on multiple-choice tests on math and language skills more important than learning any content or learning how to learn. And the consequences not only damage those students—they damage our society. How can we function as a society when we create citizens who cannot reason, who do not know the history and basis of that citizenship?

(It's no wonder we're losing teachers, too.)

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