We believe children are the future. Unless they are taking tests, then they’re idiots!
If you know a teacher, you have heard how deplorable some public schools are in terms of state-mandated, standardized tests. Some say that they are prejudicial. Others believe they are foolish. Overall, they put more of an edict of suckage on the teacher than the student. If the student fails the exam, the teacher gets punished.
He or she should have done better. The student may have poor study habits, apathy about whatever is in the classroom, or maybe an undiagnosed learning disability. None of that matters when it comes time to yank the teacher into the principal’s office.
And that’s why a group of teachers in Houston decided that public ridicule and shaming would be a great way to motivate students into doing better. Wait, what?
In the country suburb of Spring, Texas, just outside Houston, is Dekaney High School. Much like the rest of the country, teachers here are
victimized … supposed to focus on these standardized tests.
To help Dekaney High School students understand the importance of these tests, as well as earning a top-notch education, some teachers put their heads togethers and concocted a plan.
One that was sure to educate and inspire kids — a list that shows the full name of dozens of students who didn’t pass the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) test this year.
And this list pictured here was posted publicly near the school’s auditorium for all to see.
Never mind helping children do better or study harder. Just take them out in the public square and beat the crap out of them like they did in the old days. Of course, once KRIV FOX 26 in Houston got a sniff of this story, then Spring ISD made a comment. Tell me if you don’t think Karen Garrison, Spring ISD communications director, wasn’t sweating to the oldies here:
Protecting our students’ privacy is one of our highest priorities. We strive to adhere to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act at all times. Posting student names within the school along with the locations of all state-mandated tests that they need to take is commonly practiced across the region, especially on high school campuses with large student populations. This is not meant to be harmful or an invasion of privacy. It is simply meant to direct students to the right location to take the appropriate state test. Only the student’s name, testing time, location and subject area are listed within the school, which is not a violation of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.
Forget the shame of it all. Let’s talk privacy. And then, we will contradict it by sharing “only the student’s name, testing time, location, and subject are listed,” because that’s classy. And “not meant to be harmful?!” So, scorn and shame doesn’t hurt? Let’s stick the most portly of science teachers in the lunch room and … well, you see where this is going.
Bad PR for Texas education. Unfortunately, the worse PR lies within the reason why the bad PR was created in the right place.