Today is the STAAR test and my poor Sonny-Bunny is a mess. I wanted to collect myself before writing this. I wanted to speak from logic and not emotion. It’s not going to happen. Because when my baby hurts, I hurt.
So if you do not wish to read about a heartbroken mother bemoaning standardized testing, go ahead and skip this post.
It seems appropriate that they began on April Fool’s Day because I felt the fool leaving my child this morning. My big boy who loves riding his bike to school asked me to drive him today after a night where he climbed in my bed near vomiting from worry.
Something is wrong here.
Now before you think I don’t want my child to be challenged, I do. And should you think I don’t understand that an objective look at schools may be needed, again I say “I do”. But when children must spend weeks studying “strategies” to take a test, there is something wrong here. If, I as a 42 year old with two masters degrees, find the questions confusing and tricky, something is wrong here.`When a child who makes good grades and loves school starts crying himself to sleep, calling himself stupid, and hating school, something is wrong here.
I felt like I was leaving him as tribute; a sacrifice. As a parent, there are times when I must ask my child to do something that he doesn’t like. Whether it is to teach him a life lesson or to live up to a responsibility, I have asked such things and will continue. To force him to do something in which I do NOT believe, however, something is very wrong here.
I am swimming in questions right now. Do I opt-out? Do I pull him out for home school? Do I sell my right kidney and put him in private school? I don’t know. I do know, however, that we will not do this again. He has told me that he has lost his confidence and we cannot afford another year of loss.
For now, though, I am going to hold him and tell him that I am proud of him no matter what the test says. Because there is nothing wrong there.