In recent years, statewide testing has, for many schools, grown to be the 800 pound gorilla in the room. Much of the year is now spent in preparation for these most important days of examinations. And a lot of funding is determined by the outcome, so the importance is understandable.
Education Through Entertainment
These days many schools are felling the weight of state mandates testing and are opting to reduce time for assemblies and school shows. Those that do continue using school assemblies often try to focus them exclusively on tested areas such as Math and Reading.
I was listening to NPR again this morning on my way in to work (I know, I know ... NPR again?), and I caught an interview with a gentleman by the name of Ta-Nehisi Coates which I found really interesting. He is the author of a recent article in The Atlantic entitled “Why Do So Few Blacks Study The Civil War?”. As a long time Abraham Lincoln impersonator, and a true lover of history, I was amazed that this was a topic which I had never before considered, and as I listened I realized it’s importance.
With this being December, and the holidays approaching rapidly, we announced yesterday a special “deal” for Chicago area schools as a sort of holiday “gift” to our friends there. Well, today we have a similar “gift” for all our friends in elementary and middle schools in New Jersey and other eastern seaboard states.
What makes a person a good person? This question has puzzled philosophers since the earliest ages of mankind and continues to produce debate today. But there are certain virtues we commonly agree upon today and we also agree that teaching these virtues to our children is a good and desirable thing.