Tuesday, May 18, 2010

What is PASS

If you have school aged children you may know that they just got through with PASS testing. Do you know what they are testing? I didn't, I thought they were testing the children, actually they are testing the teachers to see if they are doing their job. That seems crazy to me, but I am married to a teacher, and she isn't bothered at all by it.

I think that if we want teachers to be good teachers, they have to have a good boss (AKA principal). We have some really good principals out there... and some not so good ones too. But I think it would be a much easier thing to manage and get rid of the dead weight if these not so good principals were held to the same type of scrutiny that teachers have to put up with. But all that does is make the principals put it back onto the teacher's back... which is somewhat self-defeating.

Now in Beaufort County they have MAP testing as well, and this does a much better job of gauging where your kid should be. But not everyone has the money to do this. So back to PASS. The pendulum is always moving. Or that is what my wife says. Now the pendulum's motion is more towards paying teachers to pass the test... or the kids pass the test. Good but bad because anything outside the test... won't be learned. If it is on the test... well I think you know the answer to that.

The real answer lies within ones own home. Sure you could have a super teacher this year, and maybe next year, but the odds of getting one each year, for 12 years are slim to none. But if you make an effort, become in-tuned with what is going on in your kids' lives, well it greatly improves the odds that they will walk away from their school time and something good happened. Maybe, it is still a crap shoot, but every little thing you do to stack the odds in your favor helps. :o)

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