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sg1 poke

No Child Left Behind--feh!

Here's another quiz snurched from CKO. It was cute if overwrought.

The Fairy Princess

You are youthful, cheery, and exuberant with a
sunny disposition and a mischievous sense of
humor. You are very lively and are always up
for a good bit of fun. You have a deep love of
nature and animals.

Role Model: Titania

You are most likely to: Convert a pumpkin into a
useful mode of transportation.

What Kind of Princess are You? - Beautiful Artwork (Original Music is BACK!!!)
brought to you by Quizilla

This post is my quarterly rant about NCLB -- the silliest thing to hit Montgomery County.

My school system has decided to change the way it grades kids into an all or nothing proposition. Now that sounds great on paper--we are going to grade kids only on what they produce measured by county-wide tests on every unit. The lowest grade you can get is a 50 out of 100 which is an F (or E in our county because we don't want to traumatize poor souls). Homework doesn't count only it does. No more consideration of class participation or effort. Sounds fair? It equalizes out the good and bad schools in the county--those with money vs. those without. those with parents who work with their kids and those with immigrant parents who can't due to language or work. BUT, the way it is implemented is just unfair.

There is no more weighting of grades. So those homework grades are practically equivalent of quiz grades. A child is not measured overtly because the teachers are no longer allowed to add points for children who show they know the work through oral presentation but might be having trouble with organization skills thus failing to turn in work or realize that they have to make up work they miss through absences. Yes, I'm speaking of my children. There is no leaway for a new middle schooler in GT classes who hasn't gotten the knack of organizing herself--you flunk if you don't turn in work--period. So now daughter is afraid to ask for help.

Yes, I'm considering testing for ADD because older daughter has it and younger one shows the same lack of impulse control and the anxiety caused by a school system that has decided it will only offer round holes. If it is determined that H has ADD I can get a 504 plan that does provide the support of reminders, notes, and smaller chunks of instructions. So why isn't this the way that school is taught? Children grow at different speeds. Some need more support than others. Mine seem to need personal attention -- some sort of reminder system because simply assuming that in the chaos of beginning of class that they have the ability to write down assignments, hand in their homework, and get ready for learning all at the same time isn't working. AND 4 minutes between class equals forgotten books and hasty collecting of materials. Some kids thrive on this but mine don't. They get anxious and scared and then stop asking for help. I can see it coming.

Older daughter seems to be pulling herself together, finally. We have the support of 504 plans that allow us to push the school system--such as the ability to choose teachers based on their ability to empathize and support those kids like mine who need something extra to produce. L thrives on the classes that allow her to express herself in many different ways. She is finally successful most of the time (we still have missing homework assignments but fewer). H is beginning and fumbling but there is no leway for fumbling. All or nothing doesn't work.

End of rant. I know there are lots of teachers on my flist. What is your take on NCLB. Am I being unfair or too easy on my girls?


OH MAN you have my life in spades. I have two like that. My younger one does that all the time. And so bright otherwise.

I was just reading your discussion of magnet schools and resentments. We have that problem here. The math and science magnet has "regular" kids and "magnet kids" and there is resentment--but I think it is the parents more than the kids. Somehow they do meld untile parents notice the difference and called it elitism or something. That is just my take. I would go for it because anything that keeps a child interested is worth pursuing. We are having a great sophmore year due to the International Studies Academy--a school within a school program. It is not magnet per se but does offer enhancements based on interest.
Yeah, I can definitely see *parents* getting into the act. In fact, I was sorta picking up that vibe from the parent who was telling me this in the first place. I would hope that enough of M's friends would be in the program with him to help offset any ostracization that could occur. We'll see. He may not even get into the program, or I may decide not to send him there for other reasons.

What worries me most is that M doesn't seem to be interested in *anything* other than video games. Even as a toddler, he didn't pay that much attention to his toys. He's never been into building things, or that much into drawing/coloring, puzzles, board games, sports, etc. He used to do that kind of stuff from time to time, but he never was excited by it. Same is true for school: He's never liked it, never liked reading, never liked learning for the sake of learning or heck, even satisfying his own curiousity. For that matter, he's not particularly curious. He simply wants to do well (and for the most part, he does do well) for the sake of doing well. It's more of a "I want to be able to go to the college I want, so I'll work hard" rather than "gee, I really enjoy learning new things." He's not particularly social, although he has plenty of friends. He's indifferent as to whether he's alone or with friends.

So, yeah, I worry about his future school choices a lot. There are soooo many waiting traps and wrong turns. *sigh*

It's great to know there are others out there like him. I'm definitely going to do research on that EFD thing. Thanks for the tip!
Sometimes a lack of interest masks anxiety about failing or even showing an interest and then loosing interest. I know that sounds weird but with these kids they feel so much and have been squished so much that they act contrary. Also, boys develop late and he may not show any interest in anything until College. With my daughter L it is manga and anime and role playing video games based on anime such as Kingdom Hearts and Inu Yasha. They are her entire focus. She obsesses. That is why she is considered geeky (and she is). She struggles socially because she refuses to feign indifference. Your son may need the immediacy and stimulus of video games--he might like computer programming and practical science--engineering/electronics. L didn't show any interest in academics until this year (10th grade) and now history and mythology hold her interest. It makes me breath a sigh of relief. She still doesn't learn for learning's sake. I think it is too stressful. Check out EFD because these are all signs. Good luck!
Sometimes a lack of interest masks anxiety about failing or even showing an interest and then loosing interest. I know that sounds weird but with these kids they feel so much and have been squished so much that they act contrary

No, it doesn't sound weird at all because his gifted class' teacher last year pointed out dysfunctional perfectionism as a common characteristic of gifted children -- so afraid to fail that they refuse to even try. In M's case, it's made worse by his literalism because you have to watch *every* word you say! Once, when he was stressed over something, he complained that I expected him to be "perfect." Seems he drew that conclusion from the fact that "when I do something right, you say, 'that's perfect!'"

Obviously, I tried to explain the difference between expecting him to try his best vs. being "perfect." As he's gotten older, the distinction seems to be sinking in, but we're still not to the point yet where he's willing to take risks. Or where he can deal with the ordinary frustration that comes from making mistakes as you learn something new. He insists on comparing himself to others who have a lot more experience in something than he does, then thinks that he stinks at it. He's very Type B to begin with, so where some kids would respond to the challenge with determination, he simply folds up his tent and heads back to the video games.

I've considered taking the games away (I already restrict them), but then part of me thinks it would be mean because it would deprive him of something he loved, while having no effect on his personality.

He has said he wants to design computer games when he grows up. If he doesn't ddo that, then I can easily see him as an actuary or accountant. :)

I'm glad your oldest at least seems to be finding her niche. She sounds very smart, so I would bet that at some point, she will realize the benefits of at least feigning interest in others and will be able to "fake it" enough to get by professionally, if nothing else. After all, that's what I did ;)
I ache for your son--it is so familiar to me that disfunctional professionalism. He has good parents. That aught to count for something.

Yup, me too. I pretend professionally to get by. That is why I enjoy Scapers, I don't have to pretend to be what I am not and hide so much who I am.

Your son will learn. There is a place for everyone. He'll make his own.