Our Social Science department at Ukiah High School will occasionally get together and ram the uselessness of the STAR Test. For those that don't know, the STAR test is the yearly bullshit exam that has nothing to do with student progress, and is simply there so the government bureaucrats can say that they gave a test to kids. Anyway, while our department slams the test, some of us speak up (me) and state that they could not pass the algebra portion of the test. After some startled teacher looks (you know, the 'how are you a teacher if you can't pass the exam' kind of look), some start to realize that they probably couldn't pass the math portion either. By the end of the conversation, you have teachers flushing out old math textbooks to see if they can do the problems.
I'll admit it right now, I would fail the math portion of STAR test. I got a D in high school algebra, it took me two semesters to pass college Intermediate Algebra, and I know less now than I did then. Sue me. I can write an essay about Congressional Effects on Foreign Policy, but don't ask me about Pythagoras because it ain't happening. But isn't everyone like that? Specialize in some things, weak in others?
Thankfully, Post-Hip Chick (link at right) found this article in the San Francisco Chronicle about parents that took the STAR, and ended up a lot like I would.
‘This really isn’t kindergarten anymore’
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