From today's "Sound Off" column in the Mobile Press-Register:
No Cause for Rejoicing
I see no cause for rejoicing about higher test scores in the No Child Left Behind system. The teachers are teaching the answers to the tests. It's simple. I'd be happy to know that the schools get back to real learning, where the children are challenged to follow their own ideas and learn things they're interested in and develop a love for learning for a lifetime, instead of just learning what will pass the tests.
Yes, it was I who called that in. I see a few corrections I would make in the grammar now, and I'm almost certain I said at the end, "just memorizing what will pass the tests," but I think my feelings are pretty clear.
There were stories all over the Mobile paper the day before about the high scores made on the NCLB tests for last year -- Baldwin County did better than Mobile -- and the way the newspapers pander to these programs is shocking. when there is such a tragic situation in the public school system locally. The local school system has always been disgraceful, and nothing is being done to change that. More pressure, more tests, and more money from the Federal Government to perpetuate this bankrupt system is only prolonging the agony of an under-educated, under-motivated populace. It is a misguided notion that we of old Fairhope, and particularly those of us committed to the mission of Marietta Johnson and her Organic School, have been trying to eliminate from the face of the earth for almost 100 years.
I hope a few people read my remark in "Sound Off." Sometimes I just can't resist phoning one in.