Change the World

Funny what catches your eye.

My boy consistently scores 100% on his 1st grade weekly assessments, so when he brought home his folder after a half day of school the other day (closed early due to excessive heat), I noticed the 92%. Gasp!

Turns out he only “missed” one question, but since there aren’t many to begin with, scores “plummet” with each wrong answer.

So when the boy goes from perfect to slightly less than perfect, of course I have to get to the bottom of this!

After flipping through the test, these are the passages corresponding to the question he answered incorrectly.

Henry Ford Passage 1Henry Ford Passage 2
Question #6 is the one he got wrong.


There’s a movement percolating here in town whose organizers are frustrated, high-achieving parents of brilliant, gifted, six- and seven-year old geniuses. Their primary goals are to actively participate in the conversation with the Board of Education about the job requirements for next year’s replacement librarian/gifted and talented facilitator, assist in the candidate selection and review process, take a more active role in curriculum development, and possibly augment instruction by guest lecturing on higher level mathematical and scientific topics. In addition, they advocate allowing kids to test up to higher grade levels.

Since my son happened to score extremely well on the state grade-level assessment last year and therefore became one of the kids in the gifted and talented group who is pulled from his home room once a week to discuss “creative, historical, possibly higher-level” topics the current outgoing librarian/gifted and talented facilitator selects, we landed on the mailing list of this rogue group of Descartian protractor-wielding rabble-rousers, or Parents of Little Einsteins Achieving Success in Education to Reap Elevated Levels of Acceptance to X number of Ivy League schools, as I like to call them.

While I commend the group’s intent and efforts, and may indirectly benefit from any successes achieved from their interactions with the Board of Education, I also believe that six- and seven-year old kids deserve time to play, relax, explore, socialize…to simply be kids. What is gained by pushing the kids at such an early age?

Thousands of dollars spent on IQ tests and other intelligence metrics at this age?!? Come on!

In full disclosure, I am a product of left-leaning, borderline hippie parental influence coupled with west coastal socialization; naturally, my views and style do not neatly align with those of my northeastern comrades.

Which brings me back to the aforementioned weekly assessment.

He may have been marked down for giving a wrong answer as stipulated by the answer key, and this low score may reflect negatively during the college admission process in 10 years, but boy am I struck by the kid’s ability to extrapolate such a big picture view and profound interpretation from his reading.

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