When School Preempts Summertime: An Open Letter To LAUSD Board President Zimmer (LAUSD4)
I’m agin’ it. Really, really against it. I oppose force-marching our school-aged children back inside any Institution Of Learning during their traditional months of summer-break. Our kids deserve a rejuvenating summer and the LAUSD BOD should vote to recess school until after Labor Day.
How many ways can I justify my adamancy?
Preparation: There’s this argument that our kids “have” to be in school ever-earlier in the school-year in order to allow our AP-taking, uber-achieving, uber-scared HS upper-classmen more time to study for their AP tests.
But wait a minute. Weren’t we assured six ways to Sunday that no-one is going to “teach to the test”? This is the definition of “teaching to the test”, and from the very get-go. You’re structuring the very calendar of school to accommodate a test, and a test-taking paradigm, and a system of testing via a private, commercial, test-selling enterprise, constituted exclusively for the purpose of ginning our kids’ mental and emotional status into near-constant, hyper-jitterified, test-mediated terror. And it’s not enough that they feel this way in real-time, we have to extend their state of utter-anxiety ever deeper into the prequel-summer of their schoolyear. These are tests that aren’t even their own teachers’ doing, their own course-work’s material. These are tests created for a class, which is wholly and entirely constituted for the purpose of taking – which is to say “buying”, or “taking from parents (or school systems) the money for” … these AP tests.
These aren’t tests used to assess mastery of a body of material. These are tests created for the purpose of giving and taking these tests.
And now not only is the test, the curriculum and the class itself supposed to kow-tow to the Test, but the entire structure of the kid’s school year is too.