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View Diary: A response to Tom Vilsack (148 comments)

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  •  Yes! (none)
    Worrying about grades and test scores has slowly crept down the educational ladder until now you have 1st and 2nd graders stressing about standardized testing!

    How are they going to learn to take risks -- especially intellectual risks -- and really grow if all they are taught is that you get praised solely for doing well, irregardless of how much you have challenged yourself?

    Parents are taught this as well.  Parents hold their kids back to enter kindergarten later r so that their kids will be "ready" (which really translates until kindergarten is easy and they can be at the head of the class.)  This continues into elementary school, where parents sometimes prefer keeping GATE identified children in regular classes so that they can be at the top of their class rather than putting them in a GATE classroom where the work may be harder and there will perhaps be more competition to be at the top.  This continues into middle school where kids and parents often seek out the easy teacher rather than the one who may challenge and teach them more.  All because the message again and again from schools is get "A"s, get high scores on test, but don't worry about really learning new things or thinking in a more complex way.  Any wonder that so many kids grow up to be CYA cogs rather daring innovators and leaders?

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