Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Maybe not all bad...

It doesn't take a lot of surfing around the web to find hatred of "high stakes testing" - look at some of the comments here or poke around here or here. I admit to being fairly ambivalent over the time period when my "neuro-typical" kids were taking MSAs (or whatever they were called over the years). It seemed like a big chunk of time pulled away from standard learning and I really hated the simple minded writing strategies they were learning. On the other hand my kids love a test and it was kind of nice to have evidence of "advanced" standing when a not-too-talented teacher tried to say poor performance was based on a kid's intelligence as opposed to the constant bullying that was going on.... but that's another story for a different post. It was also nice to have an objective data point when looking at schools and I enjoyed working the graphs and analysis tools they had on the state website.

The other day I got msk's first MSA (of the alt variety) report. It puts all this discussion in a totally different light. When you have a significantly disabled kid, education is always a source of contention. I've read more than a few articles decrying the "waste" of money that is required to educate "those" kids. Before IDEA you were pretty well screwed. Now, there are legal obligations, but if you don't fight, fight, fight for your kid... well, bad things have been known to happen.

But we fight, and negotiate, and politic, and work real hard, and pick the right school... and good things happen. We live in a society were verbal skills are seen to equal intelligence. Msk doesn't do well in that light, having very limited verbal abilities. Now though, I can point to his MSA math score as being on the border between "proficient" and "advanced". Admittedly his reading was in the basic level, but I'd argue that might be related to test-taking motivation/anxiety and having a not too thrilling year in English.

This from a kid that spent two years in a school that was all about behavior and totally not about academics. From a kid that spent two years after that doing mod-MSAs because of the level of his disability. He's worked so hard for these results and he makes me very proud.

1 comment:

  1. Awesome - congrats on the high math score!


I love comments. Ads, on the other hand, will be deleted.