Laugh or cry
—Because I want to share the voices in my head with others
Footnotes, italics, scare quotes and a few minor deletions by me . . .
Original Article By Tyler Whitley
Published: June 20, 2009
Bowing to pressure, the state superintendent of public instruction has abandoned her proposal to end the third-grade history and social studies Standards of Learning test.
The proposal drew a bipartisan outcry from legislators and objections from parents, educational groups and textbook publishers. And after all, who should know better than these experts in education and parties without any financial interest in continued testing? Does the state superintendent of public instruction think she was put in place to decide what is best for students? Of course not, that’s what textbook publishers are for.
Superintendent Patricia I. Wright said she made the proposal to save about $380,000 a year and because she thought third-graders were being tested too much.
“Poppycock” sneered Ms. Stanflowski, a textbook lobbyist. ” Every study we’ve paid someone to do for us proves exactly what we’ve always said. It is impossible to give expensive multiple choice tests too early, or too often.”
But superintendent Wright said yesterday that she will recommend, at the State Board of Education meeting next Saturday, proceeding with the test and that the board approve a timeline for weaving history-related passages into the elementary reading tests next year after revisions of the reading standards.
“I understand the concerns of the educators, legislators and others who disagreed,” she said. “I had not realized just how broken our system was. Parents are this brainwashed, really? Does anyone know what I could make consulting?”
Lynda Tran, a spokeswoman for Gov. Timothy M. Kaine, described the discussion about the SOLs as “healthy.”
Tom Woodward, a spokesman for reality, described the discussion as “vomitous1.”
The discussion sends a signal that “we can expect as a state to continue to lead the way on education achievement,” Tran said. “Because testing equals achievement. It’s not because we’ve totally lost sight of what education is and have fallen to measuring poorly, but often, to satisfy petty bullies who don’t know a damned thing about education.”
Wright’s action was praised by Del. H. Morgan Griffith, R-Salem, the House of Delegates majority leader, who joined many of his colleagues in opposition to Wright’s proposal.
“The bottom line is the history tests are a building block to understand how the government and our society works,” he said. “The children need to start at an early age. I am now legislating for in vitro testing. Think of all the things you memorized in 3rd grade that resulted in my election? You think I want to mess up that system? ”
Griffith also said taking the history and social studies test demonstrates how well a third-grader can read. Griffith then headed back to teaching elementary school and working nights teaching literacy to teachers as he has done for 30 plus years2.
The questions on the test range from geography to architecture to history.
African-American legislators noted that the third-grade test emphasizes African-American heroes, such as the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Jackie Robinson. If the test were eliminated, the first exposure students would have to African-American history would be slavery in the fourth-grade curriculum, they said.
At this point a teacher mentioned that she would still teach about African-American heroes and didn’t need the state test, in fact she would have “more freedom to expand and explore the topic with her students.” The unnamed woman was quickly ejected from this meeting as she had no business being there and was clearly out of touch with reality.