Friday, May 9, 2008

Teach to the Test

Today I took some time to flip through our May issue of Texas Monthly. We are pretty avid readers of this magazine. My husband is a proud resident of The Republic, therefore we read just about anything pertaining to this great state. I'm so glad one of my favorite writers is now back to his normal post on the last page of the magazine. Even though I don't always agree with Kinky Friedman's views, I will admit he uses common sense when writing and I love when people use common sense.

In his latest article, The Four Questions-An epistle to Texas Christians, one of the questions he asks is, "Would Jesus teach to the test?". I thought this was so funny since I had previously given my spiel about the TAKS test. I have to say I do agree with Kinky's comments on this subject. Kinky states, "Teaching to the test is not the same thing as teaching. Indeed, it is quite often the opposite. Great teachers, who've inspired and guided so many of us, are by nature independent thinkers. Instead of rewarding these people for changing our lives for the better, the state shoves the TAKS test down their throats, drowns them in bureaucracy and political correctness, and monkeys with their Social Security and retirement pay. Today, in our dumbed-down, robotic, Orwellain system, the great teachers of Texas have been crucified on a chalkboard cross." That brings us to the biggest question of all, Would the greatest Teacher of all teach to the test? I think not.

I think about my educational years of the 70's and 80's. I know the system was not perfect during that time but I realize how rich my education was and how cheated I would have been had my teachers had to spend all their time teaching to the test instead of teaching the subject they were hired to teach, but also to teach us about life. To make us out of the box thinkers. We got to know these people. They taught us how to live, love and learn. I would like to thank many of those individuals. Ronnie and Orphie Conner-the best history teachers there ever has been, Walt Staats for peaking my interest in the sciences, Bo Merket for making the world of Algebra make some sense, coach Kathy Marshall for my athletic guidance, Nancy Hanks for just being a friend, David Woods for just making it interesting and especially Coach Rick Robinson for not being afraid to bring Jesus into the classroom. Thanks to you all for making me the person I am.