Tuesday, September 16, 2008

all my children left behind: a rant about well-rounded education

something just dawned on me ... i was reading up on No Child Left Behind, which i of course have been familiar with for some time now. and suddenly i noticed something i hadn't noticed before:

H.R. 1 will result in the creation of assessments in each state that
measure what children know and learn in reading and math in grades 3-8.

reading and math. not all subjects, mind you, just reading and math. well, no wonder my kids don't know anything about history. no wonder they look at me all clueless when i ask them questions about such things as: the story of thanksgiving, the revolutionary war, susan b. anthony, the declaration of independence, et cetera et cetera. they are only learning about reading and math. and to be quite honest they're barely learning that. but it is now obvious to me that in the mad dash to measure up to the reading and math levels that NCLB has proposed, my kids are missing out on such things as science, basic geography, basic american history, art, music, and physical fitness.

thank you republicans! i will blame YOU next time i have to explain for the gazillionth time that Queens is a part of New York City, or that New York City is a part of New York State, or that New York State is in the Northeastern (top right) part of the United States, which is on the continent of North America. because my kids, typically grades 3-6, don't know any of that stuff.

p.s. the other day i had to explain to a 7th grader that there were SEVEN continents on the earth, and that the map her teacher had given her to fill out was incorrect because it only showed six continents. nice! antarctica ... apparently not important!


Peonys said...

Good rant, and you've even educated me a bit about NCLB.

*Bitch Cakes* said...

You know- I went to public school in the Bronx and Yonkers. I would have a difficult time naming all 50 states. And probably couldn't name more than 10 presidents. I have little to no idea about geography and even less knowledge of history. I'm blaming NCLB!

Miss Dewey Decimal said...

i too went to public school and i believe this quote from my beloved mother says it all. upon learning that i had been cutting 1-3 days of high school per week, and choosing not to punish me for this, my mother explained, "well, i kind of thought you were just getting dumber going there." and that is what i think of the american educational system.