Saturday, February 16, 2008

Stickers and Stars

I was recently discussing my kindergartener's report card in which she was graded on her ability to "understand estmation" and "perform simple data collection and create simple graphs."

I find this funny because, well, she's only five years old. Don't get me wrong, she's extremely bright, hardworking and capable. But, estimation at this age is just a fancy word for "guessing," data collection means "asking your buddies their favorite color," and creating graphs means "coloring some boxes in a rectangle" (within the lines if at all possible).

It's not surprising that the opinion piece in the New York Times entitled, So Is That Like an A?, really tickled my funny bone.

"If I got a report card that told me my 10-year-old “uses numeracy and literacy skills to describe, analyze and present scientific content, data and ideas,” I would have reached for a dictionary and an aspirin. It is enough to make me think longingly of the days of happy face stickers and gold stars."

Boy, I sure miss the days of happy face stickers and gold stars. I think my kindergartener does too.

The New York Times
Editorial Notebook
So Is That Like an A?
Published: February 14, 2008

1 comment:

CassyT said...

I teach at a school that uses a 2-4 page assessment based on the state standards, so I have to rate students with one of these choices every quarter:

We complete this on all reading, writing and mathematics standards, so you can see why it's such a lot of paperwork. It's a lot for teachers to have to do, but it helps keep us attuned to standards introduced and met by each student.

We are blessed with easily understood standards.