Stamp out CSAPYay! The CSAP scores were published last week and we the public are able to assess how our educators are doing. I am exceedingly glad that we have a single test that tells us everything we need to know about our children. Really takes the monkey off my back.

In my district, every one of our elementary schools achieved one of the top two marks: (1) Excellent or (2) High. This should be a cause for celebration. But it isn’t. My children are at a school achieving the embarrassing High mark. This has happened for the past few years and has caused a mass exodus from our school to the Excellent schools. Children are receiving a much better education there, no doubt. In return, we receive many out-of-district children which, like it or not, causes a further slide in our scores.

The funny thing is that my children were in the Excellent school for 8 years and I felt that they were receiving an inferior education there. Lots of control. No enrichment. No affirmation or fun or freedom. I forget. Where on the CSAPs do they measure musical talent? Artistic genius? Creativity? Vision? A high EQ, Emotional Quotient, which psychologists recognize as the true measure of future success? Oh, that’s right. Nowhere. Monkeys, take your number 2 pencils and fill in the circles.

The CSAPs remind me of Match.com. Newly divorced, my friends convinced me that Match.com was a great way to meet cool guys. Reluctantly I put together a rather sarcastic profile, no picture because I felt that a response would indicate a certain level of bravery, and waited for my dream guy to find me. After a few weeks, I started corresponding with someone who seemed super groovy on paper. Athletic, outdoorsy, humorous, intelligent, financially secure. Eureka!

Against my better judgment I agreed to meet for dinner. Oh boy. I could tell within 2 minutes of walking in the door that a paper representation of this man had given me an incomplete picture of his true personality, to say the least. By the end of the night, I was holding his head in my lap, stroking his hair as he sobbed his way through stories of his schizophrenic sister and his abusive father. With my free hand I searched my purse for a razor blade or a hallucinogenic mushroom or a flask of Jack Daniels or anything else that might comfort me, but to no avail. I am happy to report, however, that he finished up the date not with a kiss, thank God in heaven, but by giving me a Scottish tam with fake fur hair attached. A downpayment on a future date he said.

Do I have a point here? I think I do. It’s that nothing real or complicated or meaningful can be reduced to paper. To a score. CSAPs don’t measure true genius, family relationships, athletic ability, talent, the condition of the mind or heart. They don’t measure the capacity to learn. They don’t measure the brilliance or compassion of the teacher. They measure nothing except a child’s ability to regurgitate a head stuffed full of useless information. They tell us nothing more than a rat walking through a maze tells us. Nothing more than a carefully-worded Match.com profile tells us. Both should be taken with a very large grain of salt.

In case you were wondering, I still have the tam.

4 thoughts on “CSAP.com

  1. Yes… well…. First off, Obama plans to change the name of the program entirely and it will now become known as The No Child’s Behind Left Behind program. As you can see this will increase school discipline which has become a major problem due to the boredom of the students in the No Child Left Behind system we currently have under President Bush.

    Here is what I see that Fox News keyed into as Murdoch turns to Obama fixing the educational plumbing of our schools.

    ‘Obama Pledges to Fix No Child Left Behind
    Barack Obama said Tuesday that the No Child Left Behind Act is broken, and he vowed to fix it — proposing a $1 billion education reform effort that includes $500 million in matching funds for technology investments and a doubling of federal cash for privately run charter schools.’

    So here you can see that Obama’s Muslim heritage is helping lead us to yet more privatization of the secular humanist dominated public school system that Bush has failed to reform religiously as he had planned. Of course, Obama is a Man of the People and Muslims think of Jesus as being a prophet, so we will also see Christians allowed to open up more charter schools where they can better inform the students of the teachings of Prophet Jesus.

    Heck, we don;’t really need public schools anyway, do we? Most of what kids learn in them can better be learned in the Prison System or The Street IMHO.

    Yes, students will continue to get tested. …and tested and testedd and testedddddd under The Obama Plan. For example, American children will have to learn much more about the geography of Afghanistan and Pakistan to make a high grade under The Obama Plan testing.

    Whom ever wins the Presidency of this great country of ours, I wish you luck with the CSAPs , Kate. If you are on Ritalin please double your regular dose during the months of testing for best results. Double the No Doze, too. Good Luck!

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