No. of Recommendations: 0

JAFO: <<<<"If the students can also think independently, that is ok, so long as it does not interfere with passing the mandatory test (and as a result, it is not really a goal of a Texas education).">>>>

"Just out of curiosity, have you ever seen a sample copy of the TEKS or TAAS tests?"

Elementary and middle; illustrative samples of high school from the newspaper.

"I've raised two through the public school system in Texas, and had cause to look once or twice, because I did not understand the scoring system. Some of the questions have more to do with reasoning things out than one would think."

Not that I noticed.

"Both of my kids were encouraged to think independently, both at home and at school. In fact, more than one teacher told me that their main intent was more about teaching kids how to think for themselves, than it was to teach them rote information."

Good for you and them. I haev heard some of the same, and I have also heard how much the standardized test weighs on shping the curriculum and use of class time.

"While there is a lot of emphasis in this state regarding standardized testing, I have found the teachers my children had were not overly obsessed with it."

How long ago was this (you mentioned that you have raised two through the public schools [sounds to me like they finished])? Teacher and administration ratings and pay, and school rating is now so dependent upon test results that it appears to be the holy grail. I know, for example, that MS is up in arms because it missed some higher ranking because some particular subset of students (and I forget which) scored a 94.x% (with x greater than 5) passing rate and 95% was the rate required for the higher rating.

"I, like many of the posters to this site, had to learn financial responsibility the hard way. My parents were un-educated about the subject, and struggled with debt for most of their life. My mom is still doing so, despite encouragement to change her habits. I've taught my kids about financial responsibility, but only from the perspective of what I have learned the hard way. Would I like to see personal financial management taught in my school district as a basic curriculum class? Yes! (And yes, I would be happy to see my taxes raised to pay for it, if needed) 3/4 of the kids that attend in our district receive free or reduced price lunch because their parents income qualifies them for it. Many of them are children of immigrants, but many are children of people who have been here for four generations and more. The cycle repeats itself through each generation, and I think if there was an organized approach to teaching basic finance, fewer of them would make the mistakes of their parents."

I generally agree.

"Rose colored glasses? Maybe a little. I just know that how we've been dealing with it isn't working, and would like to see something else tried. Many of these same folks are the ones that are the recipients of tax-payer funded healthcare, housing that is courtesy of the TDC (Texas Department of Corrections), and burials in Potters Field. I just hate to see good money thrown after bad, and that is exactly what much of that portion of our taxes goes to."

Tough on crime is an easy sell for politicians, even if it is not cost effective.

Regards, JAFO
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