I'm planning on doing lighter posting as I work on some stuff that is more directly in service to people than a blog, as well as some writing that no one is going to see for a while.
Here's a story about a therapy program run by my sister-in-law that uses horses to help rehabilitate Iraqi vets who have come back with multiple injuries and issues.
I also heard some top teachers on MPR talk today about what the standardized tests really tell us about what's happening in our schools — especially for individual kids and their progress.
As one put it, more or less, the tests represent one snapshot in time. We are taking individual snapshots of each student's progress in the classroom every day and every child is different. Suppose you have a benchmark for children tying their shoes, and on the day of the test, one child can and other can't. If the other child does it a few days later, does that mean the first child is more intelligent?
This certainly squares with my experience in the pre-school classroom. Each kid is in a different place and is progressing at a different rate. What I do that's of any value is to help each kid move forward from the place they are in that moment. It is total fantasy to think that the group of kids should move at the same rate to the same points, and if they haven't, the school or teacher is failing to do its job.
I understand why individual parents may be critical of schools, teachers and classrooms. But it is eye-opening to spend extended time with a group of kids who are not your own and with people who may not have your abilities and advantages.