"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

March Madness

Yes, it is that time again for pep rallies, anxiety, nosebleeds, and vomiting. Basketball? Who said anything about basketball?
Prepped and Pumped to Score Big
Pr. George's Schools on Watch List Pile On Drills, Cheers as State Tests Loom

By Nick Anderson
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, March 14, 2006; B01

This week, March madness sweeps Maryland public schools. Not over hoops, but over state achievement tests.

Nowhere is the frenzy more intense than in Prince George's County, where schools are battling to raise their academic reputation.

Last week in the cafeteria of Forest Heights Elementary School, an emcee rapped, drummers pounded, majorettes twirled batons and cheerleaders cried: "Pump it up, pump it up! You gotta gotta gotta pass the test! C'mon and pass the test! Pass it! Ace it! On the MSA -- the coming test -- we want you to do your best!"

A pep rally for a test.

At nearby James Madison Middle School, another scene unfolded: An algebra teacher drilled students on common mistakes after a warm-up for the tests, known as Maryland School Assessments. Seventh-grader Fredrece Clingman raised her hand and asked whether all the advance fuss might backfire.

"They put us under so much pressure to take these tests," the 12-year-old said as class ended. "Then when we take them, we just go blank. We don't know what to do. Sometimes I go blank."

The rest, here.


  1. Anonymous5:41 PM

    Hi, this is Akeira Cramer, I am in the same article talked about, and am in the same class with Fredrece Clingman, she happens to be one of my good friends. I do think that the MSA is kind of stressful, and I think that since my class has such high expetations, we are 7th graders that have to pass the MSA, HSA and Algebra One, we are so happy tha thtis test is well over.

  2. I hate these pep rallies, but they do serve as example of how far we have gone with test mania. I linked back to it if you n=don't mind.