Thursday, April 19, 2012

No; Child Left Behind!

I can still remember those standardized tests we had to take back in elementary school.  Growing up in Iowa, every fall we had to endure the week-long Iowa Tests of Basic Skills. More memorable than the actual test-taking was the way that each year, the school's staff came to the backwards conclusion that the best way to avoid test-taking nervousness among the students was to make as big a production out of the event as humanly possible. As such, ITBS week always kicked off with a school-wide assembly, reminding us that the tests were "no big deal," complete with test-busting tips and some poor schmuck dressed up as an evil bubblesheet.

I never cared too much one way or the other about the tests.  Since they didn't count for anything, I couldn't care less what score I ended up with.  Not like that *%$@ GMAT and its potentially future-crushing implications.  These days, with useless initiatives like No Child Left Behind, standardized tests get more attention than they deserve, and based on one recent event, it's clear that teachers are taking them quite seriously...

Missouri's version of the ITBS is the MAP (Missouri Assessment Program). The standardized testing starts in third grade, but even Missouri kindergarteners take practice tests to prepare them for the real tests that come a few years later. Earlier this week, things got a little "messy" for one six year-old kindergarten student taking the test. The teacher gave the students a bathroom break before the test and warned them that they couldn't go during the practice test.  And that teacher wasn't joking around...

Mid-exam, nature called on the little test-taker.  She asked the teacher if she could go to the bathroom, but the teacher held firm and called her bluff...and found out the smelly way that the young girl was not bluffing.  The situation quickly turned from "No Child Left Behind" to "What's Leaving that Child's Behind?!"  But even as the mess spread, the teacher maintained an unwavering commitment to the decision and forced the girl to sit in her filth for the remainder of the test.  But don't be too quick to pass judgment--the teacher did provide the girl with a trash bag to cover herself.  And after the test, the girl's mom got the call to come to clean up the mess.  Here's video coverage of the breaking news:

There are an endless list of hilarious aspects to this story--I could write pages and pages about this.  But in the spirit of brevity, here are my own personal highlights, comments, and questions from the story and video:
  • The parents were outraged because their daughter was embarrassed in front of her classmates (and presumably everyone else in the school, who undoubtedly heard about the mishap). So they did the logical thing and went on the news and made a huge deal out of the incident.  Now it's on YouTube, closing in on 250,000 views.  Articles are all over the internet.  I heard about it on the radio on yesterday morning.  And, of course, random, witty bloggers in Minnesota are writing about it. That should help limit the embarrassment for their little poopy-pants...
  • I don't usually think of Missouri as the "Deep South," but this clip reminded me that I should.  Where else is the leading story on the six o'clock news, "local kindergartner craps pants at school"?  Best of all, the anchorwoman kick off the newscast by saying that they'll check in with their Washington reporter later, but first they have more pressing news from the local elementary school...
  • The mother's quote 0:55 seconds into the clip is priceless: "She still had poop--diarrhea poop--coming out the back, up her front, down her legs."  You can really sense the hesitation before that sentence leaves her mouth.  I can almost see cartoon thought bubble above her head: "Am I really about to describe this on a TV interview?"  And I thoroughly appreciated her clarification on what type of poop they were dealing with--not regular poop, but diarrhea poop.  Clearly serious stuff.
  • Ditto on dad's quote at the 2:00 mark.  Brilliant hesitation before he makes his bold statement, "Any parent, sent their kids to school with...uh...crappy pants...those parents would be facing criminal charges.
  • The mother's last name is Skidmore.  Yes, Skidmore.  The irony is not lost on me.
  • Maybe the results aren't available yet, but is anyone else wondering how the girl scored on the test?  Anyone can ace an exam when their pants are clean and dry; achieving even mediocre results with a full set of drawers would suggest that young Skidmore could be the next Einstein.
  • Kudos to the KY3 news team for maintaining straight faces throughout the story.  The effort of field reporter Sara Forhetz is particularly praiseworthy--I'm willing to bet that when Ms. Forhetz earned that college degree in communication, she never pictured herself going on location to cover the story of a child crapping her pants at an elementary school.
  • Everyone in this story is talking about the young girl and what her teacher forced her to endure.  But there were other victims who suffered every bit as much.  I've never tried it myself, but I highly doubt that taking a test in a room that smells like an outhouse lends itself to higher scores.  I'd also love to see how the other students did on their practice MAP tests...

    Check out more about the story here:

    No comments:

    Post a Comment