Comment to UK person on US education system

There is an article in Time magazine this week about how the testing system in US schools...attempt to make teachers "accountable" and raise test scores..is causing a revolt. Teachers are losing jobs, schools are losing federal funding because of low test scores...the all pervading standardinzed test...unlike the UK we do not test with essays..but with those "bubble" in 1-5 choices....

I had an education student last Saturday doing a term paper in a masters class on .."recess" (I think we did a really exhaustive literaure search..theses, etc.) on recess...and learned her interest was because where she teachs...recess for kindegarteners is forbidden. The 5 year olds sit in classes 8 to 3...only lunch and bathroom breaks....

I discussed this with my daughter's great aunt,and she said they had recess in that Tennessee school many years ago, recess was an important part of my education...we learned dodge ball, then softball in a formal way, and informally taught each other elaborate forms of hop scotch....

And now....to the personal part.

Marti, one of my daughter 's twins, was singled out for special concern, and parenteral conference at the end of school....she did not perform as expected...would not "talk to the teacher"....so she could access her...counting ot 100 was a big deal. We taught her to count to 100, first using candy m and ms...then she graduated to beans...now can count to 1000....but she would not count more than up to 39 ...for the teacher...and this will show up on her record...in kindegarge, and I guess be help against the school's perormance. My daughter is very, very anxious.

I was tiwht them yesterday, however, and the little boy....very serious, did flash cards and then had a sheet of arithemetic...and was adding things like 100 and 300....etc. He wrote it all out, read it and took it very seriously. The little girl had me spell words for her to write a story....

It is vacation time, but they are already practicing homework.

I do think that the US is starting to follow the Japanese system....

We keep swinging back and forth, back and forth on the pendulum....

End of essay.

Later, Elizabeth