Saturday, December 24, 2016

CURMUDGUCATION: The Only Subjects That Matter

CURMUDGUCATION: The Only Subjects That Matter:

The Only Subjects That Matter


There's a message that has been delivered loud and clear for the last decade-- only two subjects in school matter. Only reading and math affect a school's rating. Only reading and math scores factor in teacher evaluation. Only reading and math come with state-approved Official Standards. Only reading and math are on the all-important Big Standardized Test, now believed by an entire generation of school children to be the entire purpose of schools.

History? Science? Music? Art? Well, there are still some parents out there who remember these as being part of school, and so there's not full support yet for getting rid of them (kind of like some folks are sure that cursive writing has to be part of school).

This has left other disciplines in a bit of a bind.

On the one hand, it would be a kind of boost to folks who teach history and science and all that other cool stuff if they were part of the whole test-driven school set-up. If history were on the BS Test, schools wouldn't just cut history classes, or only offer history to students who don't need test prep remediation classes.


Don't even think about it.
And yet, what the experience of math and reading shows us is that the bad amateur standards and the horrible tests exert a power warp and twist and distort the subject areas into a dark, sad, stunted dark mirror image of their best selves. I have filled a million miles of blog with the business of explaining and depicting the badness, but the bottom line is that when you design a course of study around the goal of being to measure it with bad multiple choice questions-- well, it's like trying to jam a buffalo into a mason jar-- only, unfortunately, in this case the mason jar is made of some unyielding adamantium substance, and so it is the buffalo that loses the CURMUDGUCATION: The Only Subjects That Matter:



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