Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Standardized testing starts at many local schools today. Test preparation is good business for the Golden Apple, that doesn't mean we have to like it. We remember when the dubious end didn't justify the means in education. So at the Golden Apple we say "Hooray for Diffendoofer Day" and celebrate the Seuss/Prelutsky book that shows what can happen when standardization trumps creativity:
His teacher, Miss Bonkers, is "as bouncy as a flea,/I'm not certain what she teaches,/But I'm glad she teaches me." Diffendoofer School is a happy place, full of energetic teachers and eager students, all joyfully working in unorthodox ways on the next unlikely assignment. The only sourpuss in the building is the principal, Mr. Lowe, who announces the message he fears most -- standardized testing for the entire school. Failure will mean that the Diffendoofer School will close and all students will go to the miserable Flobbertown, where gray monotony abounds. Miss Bonkers assures the students that all will go well, and it does, for "we've taught you how to think." When the test results confirm her belief, Diffendoofer Day is declared by Mr. Lowe, and the children celebrate with, you guessed it, a pizza party!
Celebrate your ability to think!