I'm currently taking a class about electronic resources for young people. But we frequently get off topic and have some absolutely brilliant discussions (why are the topics not on the syllabus frequently the most fascinating?)
This class is pretty small (about a dozen students) and several of them are current or former school teachers. Today we had a very interesting discussion about free reading in schools and how many districts and states are cutting it in favor of teaching for standardized tests. One of the teachers went and interviewed a classroom full of students about whether or not they'd enjoy being able to have fifteen to thirty minutes to read anything they wanted.
One little kid turned back in his paper and his response was "that sounds like freedom."
Doesn't that make your heart burst into about fifty million pieces?
It makes me ill that there is so much emphasis placed on testing and passing rates, rather than teaching kids to love learning. Is it any wonder so many kids are burned out of school so quickly?
Teaching to a test is not an education.
And while there are a bazillion reasons I want to home school, one reason that keeps coming back to me is that I don't want my children's education wasted on test prep. Especially in elementary school.