Saturday, October 30, 2010

The System

I found this on the heels of discussing the frustration of a homeschool senior taking college level math at the community college. He'd asked his professor a question that was answered with "Don't worry about it. It's not on the test." He was taken aback. "I don't care about the test," he told me. He was curious and saw an opportunity to learn more. Rarely does a homeschooled student meet with the answer, "I don't have time to explain," but in the world of standardized testing, public school kids receive this answer regularly.

Really, I don't have any better idea how to fix the system than this man does. I merely point out the problem. Our economic structure and public school system demands that students be warehoused for the majority of the day. Massive homeschooling is not an answer we have time for either.


  1. Your story pains me. I find that my students rarely ask questions, and when the do, the most common one is, "will this be on the test". Curious students (at least in my math/computer science classes) are not that common.
    I also feel for the instructor. I obviously don't know what his/her particular situation is, but I find that the incentive system for instructors can often get in the way.

  2. It pains me, too. Incentives, standardized testing, page quotas all lead to the rush and flush learning style. Like I said, I just don't know what to do about it. Balance is not something that our education system seems capable of.