Both my kids visited the doctor last week — annual visit for the 4-year-old and the baby goes every couple months to get poked like a pincushion with hundreds of different vaccines.
The kids are alright. Medically speaking. The older kid is a ticking bomb but what toddler doesn’t erupt over the slightest ALRIGHT, I’LL CUT THE F*CKING SANDWICH INTO FOUR SQUARES, NOW PUT THE GUN DOWN!
“The doctor said he’s very bright,” she reported back, “but he recommended we slow down and not put an emphasis on learning as much.”
I’m sorry, during the making of the sandwich, I packed peanut butter into my eardrums to dull his dictator-like calls for perfect squares. Come again? Did you say stop teaching him things? Did he say to stop teaching him things?
The doctor voiced his concerns. His fear is a bored child. A child who already knows everything his kindergarten teacher is explaining and zones out in class. A smart child with a wandering imagination. God forbid. Don’t tell the government, I’m scared him, and children like him, will be targeted and rounded up out of fear. Kind of like the X-Men.
But doc, if my kid doesn’t learn everything he can now, he’ll fail out of kindergarten. He’ll never get into a good college! Because they standardize test toddler these days. It’s serious. So serious a New York school isn’t going to let kids sing Wind Beneath My Wings to an assembly hall of bored scrolling through Twitter on their phone this year. Yes. That serious.
The Harley Avenue Primary School in Elmwood, NY sent a letter home this week to let parents know the annual Kindergarten talent show would be canceled. Reason? The kids need the time to prepare for standardized tests.
School officials wanted to make sure the students are “college and career” ready. Keep in mind, these students don’t even know what a college is, probably can’t spell it, and won’t need to think about college for at least a decade.
Here’s the letter word for word but if you need to see it for yourself, click this link.
April 25, 2014
Dear Kindergarten Parents and Guardians,
We hope this letter serves to help you better understand how the demands of the 21st century are changing schools, and, more specifically, to clarify, misperceptions about the Kindergarten show. It is most important to keep in mind is [sic] that this issue is not unique to Elwood. Although the movement toward more rigorous learning standards has been in the national news for more than a decade, the changing face of education is beginning to feel unsettling for some people. What and how we teach is changing to meet the demands of a changing world.
The reason for eliminating the Kindergarten show is simple. We are responsible for preparing children for college and career with valuable lifelong skills and know that we can best do that by having them become strong readers, writers, coworkers and problem solvers. Please do not fault us for making professional decisions that we know will never be able to please everyone. But know that we are making these decisions with the interests of all children in mind.
The letter was sent home after parents kept calling the office to discuss the issue and the office can’t have parents calling the office all day to talk their children. This is a school, people! The staff has much more pressing concerns like “is it too late to cancel all of the set decorations that say “More like Kinder-smarten!” and who exactly is going to tell that little twat Goldstein she’s not going to get to sing the song from Frozen to close the annual show? Whichever staff member picks the short straw, I’ve got the Sam’s Club-sized tub of peanut butter and I’d be happy to shove it down your earholes. If there’s enough left over I’ll make Snickerdoodles the kids can nosh on during their all-night cram sessions.
On one hand we’ve got doctors telling us to dumb down our kids and on the other hand school administrators are telling us that colored in circles on a test sheet show our kids are dumb. What are parents to do?
Wait, what was your solution? I didn’t hear you. I accidentally bought chunky.