Friday, March 20, 2009

This is why I am (almost) starting to understand why people home school here!!

Dear Public School System,

Yesterday we 'registered' our son for grade primary (that's kindergarten down here!) where we filled out paper work and he was tested.

Now, before I begin, I understand the whole making the classes equal argument and everything... but really?!?! How equal can they be when they only test on certain things?!?! Or, what about the fact that my child is going off with someone new, to a place they have never been before and asked question?!? How comfortable do you think that made him?!?! Was he in the best frame of mind to be tested?!? I will refrain from talking about the fact that it was around noon and he was incredibly hungry.

During the interview with the head of that year. We were told that there are two tests that they do. The first one has to do with drawing shapes, alphabet, numbers, body parts and from what I got drawing a person. We were then told that on this first test the average mark is 70 - 85 and that Geordie received a 65.

Yes, we were told that our child was below average!!

The second test was more on reading and he was in the fourth of five levels. Above average!

Now, we know that when it comes to the alphabet Geordie sings K,K instead of J,K and B instead of V. He also, like all good Canadians, says ZED...which I have learned that people down here have no idea what that is. That being said he can tell you all the letters by sight.

As for body parts, I guess he was not sure on heel. He was not asked about the respiratory and/or digestive system. He can tell you all about that, including where 'parts' are!

We get to the drawing of a person that Geordie did. The 'interviewer' (because that was what she was! As we are outside the district and trying to get into this school she was 'interviewing' us to make sure that we were worthy) said that there wasn't enough detail in the drawing.

From what I could see there was a body, 2 legs, 2 arms, a head with eyes, nose and mouth with some hair. More details?!?! You more than understand that it is a person! Arts and crafts is not exactly Geordie's shtick! It is not a high priority for him! Believe me he has been encouraged and given every opportunity to do it, he would just rather go outside or play Lego.

The 'interviewer' then goes on to tell us what we should do to help him along...

1) "set the table, 2 forks..."
-Geordie knows how to set the table correctly, he was not asked that?!?!

2) "when you're driving talk about the colours"
-Geordie knows the primary colours AND what colours make what!! Now I did ask if they had asked about colours. He was not!

3) "repeat the alphabet after him the correct way"
-Yeah, we do that...he's just too stubborn and a know it all to listen!

He was not asked about;

-the periodic table of elements, as he is learning that! Sure, he only knows 2 so far...but still!

- geography. He knows where many places are on the globe (or map) as well as most of his continents and he has an amazing sense of direction and can lead you anywhere!

- how to put air into a tire, or change a tire...that he could tell you!

-time on a clock as he's been working on that.

- how to work a computer

-athletic ability; where he could tell you that since the age of 3 he was swimming on his own (without a flotation device) and riding a 2-wheeler.
Not to mention his skateboarding and soccer skills!

-any type of problem solving; because he excels at that!

-how to work TiVO and a radio helicopter.

-the water cycle

These are all things that Geordie could have easily told you about...and more! Believe me I could go on as we are trying to bring up a very well rounded child.

But, instead we are told that our child is below average.

Do you not see something wrong with this?!?


Another parent who thinks that their child is above average!



chelle said...

My kid is so not testable yet. She would be so shy and clueless as to what was expected of her.

Weirdness that they test.

We go to an information night and get a tour.

Jaclyn said...

Seriously ridiculous testing. It's like how the IQ tests only test verbal and mathmatics skills. There's so much more to life, people!

Sounds to me like it'll be about 2 weeks into the school year, when they'll suddenly realize they had Geordie pegged ALL WRONG. "Crap. Smart kid. Guess we buggered another one up."

Then YOU'LL have the last laugh!

Michelle Kostya said...

geez! How do they think that this tells them anything about kids! Ask them a question one day and get a completely different answer the next. How do they decide what questions are relevant. What a crapshoot.

much more than a mom said...

Holy crap. That's brutal. We're supposed to be ditching grade 3 standardized tests here - YAY!

Chantal said...

I can't get over that they test such little ones. Not right.

A Buns Life said...

It's terrible isn't it? Olivia "tests" at a 7 year old level, but misses the cut-off for kindergarten by two weeks so too bad for her....she can't go until fall of 2010. She is going to be so flipping bored! They make NO EXCEPTIONS! I was actually told I should have planned better. Yeah, like I have any control over how smart she is going to be, or when she is going to come out.

Stella said...

As a teacher, I find testing to be ridiculous. I think it's often inaccurate and there are far too many outside influences that can change the outcome of the tests!

Having a child in the classroom and observing them and talking with them, I feel, is the best measure of seeing how and where they fit in!!

Mandy said...

Absolutely frickin' unbelievable.

Good grief, can I just say that that kind of testing is absolutely ridiculous and proves nothing. And yes, I am a certified teacher.

I'm just wondering how a bright ESL kid would fair on that test.