Once again the merry ordeal of the SBA is upon us. And when I say merry, I mean it sarcastically. I hate the SBA. The teachers hate the SBA. Almost all of the students hate the SBA, albeit for the wrong reason. In fact, the SBA seems to be hated by everyone who isn’t paid for it.
A friend once came up with the witty phrase, No Child Left Behind, A.K.A. No Child Let Ahead. Actually, this is true. The point of the SBA seems to be to get everyone in the nation to average a fifty percent (F) on everything.
Because, succeeding makes others feel bad, and failing makes you feel bad. Additionally, I might debate whether removing forty hours of schoolwork from a child’s curriculum actually makes he/she smarter (See Cole’s article “What is Smart”) or makes the child take school less seriously.
Seriously. Anyways, as Ivan brought up in his most recent article, also on the SBA, those questions are just stupid. Idiotic. I’d like to see which _Adjective_ _Noun_ decided on those questions. For starters, WHY ALL THE EMPHASIS ON PHOTOSYNTHESIS?!?!?! Every science test on the SBA has a question about photosynthesis. What is photosynthesis? How does it work? And how the heck does photosynthesis apply to you if you aren’t going to become a botanist?
Maybe not the last one.
But seriously, every test emphasizes photosynthesis ‘till my will corrodes and I feel like yelling “I DON’T CARE ABOUT CHLOROPLASTS!” Also on our science test, there was a question that said something to the effect of “Identify two living and two non-living organisms in this picture.” At first I thought “How stupid do they think we are?” and then “How stupid are they?”
I answered the question after several minutes of staring at it open-mouthed, the same thought flitting through my head: Bear : Living. Caribou : Living. Water : Not living. Bush and Shrubs : Living. Wait. Two living, two non-living, right? The test makers seem to think that bushes aren’t living.
Anyways, we now move onto the reading test. Now, I read about 300-400 pages a night these days. I read at a college level. In short, I can read quite well, merci beaucoup. However, I recognize that others do not. So I don’t begrudge the reading tests. Too much. Though I do doubt that it is necessary to ask the questions that they ask.
I mean, when one writes a story about a kid stepping on a sea urchin, I should think it obvious that the main conflict is (SURPRISE!) … THE KID STEPPING ON A SEA URCHIN!!!!! Besides that, I have one more thing to say about the reading test… to my knowledge, it is possible to understand an overly simplistic and rather bad poem WITHOUT comparing yourself to an effing vegetable. I mean, why the heck would anyone need to compare themselves to a chili?
Actually, I like the math test. But I don’t approve of making kids draw probability trees to explain why a coin has a 50% chance of landing on heads.
Finally, the writing test. I finished the Q&A part of the test quite quickly. But when I read the writing assignment (The only part of the test that actually involves writing) I thought, almost instantaneously, I’m screwed. Apparently, I was supposed to write about throwing a surprise party (I don’t like parties) For a friend (Who doesn’t like parties) and write about how I would prepare it.
Additionally, I was required to plan it out, and I was to be given points based on how I planned it. I don’t plan. I don’t care if it’s a T-Chart, a Web, or any other colossally idiotic creation. They just don’t help me. I seem to be running out of room, so adieu for now. Next on Ben’s World: Why All Humans Know Everything!