For the next three days, I will assist in proctoring our state’s proficiency tests. The room to which I am assigned will hold seniors who are on their….let’s see…fifth try to pass the tenth grade proficiencies.

I can’t help but think there is something wrong here. I think there need to be standards. I just think it is sort of appalling that so many kids get to high school and are nowhere near the standards. Their parents get upset by this, but I often wonder how many of those parents achieved what we would call an educational standard. I have known parents who could not help their third graders with school work, and I know people with college educations, teachers in fact,who give up on their children’s junior high math. Now I am not really a math person, but I cannot see the day when I would let an junior high student outdo me in math. (Except maybe for the occasional story problem.)

I sit in classes every day and help kids. And although I am technically there for the kids with special needs, I really help just as many “gen ed” kids. There are kids of both sets , though, who do not want my help. They do not want anyone’s help. They think school is stupid, and they will only do the bare minimum to get through. And if their definition of the bare minimum is not enough, God help the teacher who held them accountable. Or the school that didn’t educate them.

I guess I think that educational standards need to start with personal standards.  Maybe if people had a personal standard, that being that they would do what was necessary to actually profit from school instead of filling a space because the state requires them to, the task of turning out people who can function in today’s workforce would not be so colossal.  I think the whole education thing has to start at home.


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