Comment from a parent of a 3rd grader
My daughter started school on Aug 2014. She is in the third grade.
On the fourth day of school I opted her out of the STAAR tests along with objection to release of directory information. I agree that my child is not data.
My daughter is struggling with work that she does not understand at all especially in math.
My daughter also reads below grade level.
Here is a mental math question using properties of operation to change numbers to make subtraction easier. Yeah right!
Here it goes:
Megan has 372 buttons. She used 14 buttons to make a collage and 49 buttons to make an ornament. How many buttons does Megan have now?
1. First find 372- 14
You can add 6 to both 372 and 14: 372 + 6 = 379; 14 + 6 = 20
Find the difference: 378 -20 = 358 (Kids are suppose to understand that since the same number is added to both numbers the difference between them is the same as the difference between 372 and 14.)
2. Second find 358 – 49
Add 1 to each number and you get 359 -50 = 309 buttons
These instructions are difficult if not IMPOSSIBLE for my daughter to learn. My daughter still needs to catch up on her reading. This mental problem sheet was from PearsonTexas.com handbook that’s kept in school.
I opted her out of STAAR testing and STAAR curriculum but its like I never did. Should I request a special education evaluation assessment?
I always tell my daughter ” Remember school is there for you to learn and a teacher to teach that’s why there called TEACHers to teach you to learn not for you to know the work” Thank you for listening.
Response from Janice
Teachers no longer have the freedom to TEACH. Children are behind in reading for many reasons but one is that most public schools in Texas are not teaching phonics.
The instructional materials in all Texas schools is designed to teach the TEKS so that students can pass the STAAR. The problem is that the group that writes the STAAR may not interpret the TEKS in the same way they were meant to be used. The State Board of Education purposely makes the TEKS vague because they do not want to give directions on methods of instructions. What ever the reasons, the bottom line is that our children are falling farther and farther behind. Yet, teachers are being forced to keep up the pace. No child left behind is a joke. The majority of Texas children are being left behind. “Race to the Top” is just another government program that school districts sell their souls to collect money. Money is not the problem with education–in fact most school have too much money. Check it out for yourselves—how many administrators are on each school campus? How many instruction coaches, directors, etc…. are on each campus?
If your child is behind in reading skills, my suggestion is to find out how you can help.
As to this unrealistic method of teaching math, send letters, emails, faxes and call your state senator, state representative, and your State Board of Education Representative. Send them examples such as the problem above.
Attend school board meetings and present the problem.
If possible, homeschool. Some parents form a collaborative and help each other. Homeschooling is not that difficult. You do not have to have a degree in education to homeschool because with technology, you can be successful at educating your children. The objective of public schools is no longer to educate children. Instead it is primarily to collect data and provide socialized training–The content of lessons leans more to socialism.