Thursday, September 25, 2008


I don't have to look far to figure out where my son is getting his self-esteem issues.

I don't say anything in front of him. Ever. But he says things like "I hate myself." Or, "You don't like me." Or, "I'm stupid."

None of which are true, of course.

Today, though, I look at the pictures my friend Patrick took of my last night and I see my giant, oval-shaped nostrils, stringy hair, fat face, horrible skin, wrinkles. I hate everything about the way I look.

And then, I open Brendan's report card which came home yesterday and the goddamn thing is so fucking complicated that I can' understand it. And I feel stupid as hell. It's called the Georgia Kindergarten Inventory of Developing Skills (GKIDS – I hate fucking cutesy acronyms.) A, B, C, D, F, U, and S make sense and are easy for parents to comprehend as a gauge of where their students are on the scale. This fucking "map" of the "curriculum and student's performance levels for the standard in the areas of English Language Arts, Math and Approaches to Learning." The report card is a grid that includes a description (Georgia Performance Standards Assessed) followed by a number that is the "number of elements included in the standad." This is then followed by another number: "the number of elements of the standard that have been assessed during the year." Then, the grades assigned to each element are: NA (Not Assessed), ND (Not Yet Demonstrated), EM (Emerging), PR (Progressing), MS (Meets Standards), EX (Exceeds Standards), AC (Area of Concern), DE (Developing), CD (Consistently Demonstrating).

Actually writing it out like this helps me understand it a little better, but I still think it's unnecessarily convoluted and pointless and good god, they're measuring these tiny little Kindergarten kids on 22 different areas. Just fucking tell me how he's doing in Math, Language Arts, Social Studies, Science, and PE like the good old days.

I never thought I was closed-minded, but this system sucks. It's designed to make parents feel like teachers know it all and they're idiots so they might as well cede control of their offspring to the public school system.

I seriously hate everything today.


Kel said...

Sounds like you're having one of those days...yes, I hated kindergarten report cards (ours were always much easier to read when I was that age) but once you get the hang of it, it is actually pretty informative rather than saying 'your kid suck in english' you can see he's actually great and needs help with letters p, q, and x.

It's all confusing, I know, but hang in there, it gets better.

Courtney said...

Don't hate the teachers, hate No Child Left Behind... THAT is the etiology of these crazy report cards.

Suz said...

Curriculum based measures! The idea behind it is good (teach to standards, rather than the teacher's individual and subjective choice of lesson plans), but the implementation is not always so great. Talk to Courtney. :)

rennratt said...

I HATE those report cards! Here in NC, they assess reading with a NUMBER SCALE. [How am I supposed to know what a 31-32 scale is?]

It's a huge adjustment. If ANYONE can handle this challenge, it's you.

Chin up, young person. B is going to stun everyone. Especially HIMSELF.