Snow vs. School

by S.C. Torrington on February 6, 2010

illecillewaet_-_el_boggoMarylanders are notorious for panicking whenever there’s a forecast of snow. Even the threat of a few inches, creates a run on groceries stores to hoard the White Trinity: bread, milk and toilet paper. But last night, we had what forecasters can honestly call a “weather event.” About two feet, deeper in drifts. And the cable’s out. Plus tomorrow’s Super Bowl Sunday. So even without a dog in the race, Balti-morons are taking gas.

And not just because they might miss The Big Game. But because there’s a good chance that schools will be closed for at least part of next week. Not to mention the possible insult to injury a la another snowfall on Tuesday into Wednesday. But, hey, what me worry? Because although, as home educators, we are legally obligated to document 180 days of “school” over the course of a year, that’s never been an issue because we never stop “schooling.”

Come on; is education something you should simply pull the plug on once you hit that almost-half-a-year benchmark? Recently there’s been national concerns voiced that U.S. students are “falling behind” other nations in the fields of math and science, measured of course by test scores. And, in some circles, this unacceptable fall from being BMOC is blamed on our kids not going to school long enough – both in terms of hours per day and days per year.

Good fucking luck with changing that long-standing academic schedule/teachers’ union contract/families’ Summer Vacation mindset. Never gonna happen. Even now, with most counties on-the-verge-of, if not already out of “snow days,” the MSDE is in a tizzy. School closings cost Marylanders money.

And apparently a fraction of a percentage point in math test scores, too. This just goes to prove that public school kids are being taught-to-test, not being educated in a process. Because if only a few missed days in that 180-day forced march to the SATs is gonna cause a measurable decline in statewide test scores, then students can’t actually be learning for the long haul, just memorizing and retaining facts long enough to regurgitate soon after ingesting.

Kinda like the way wolves gourd themselves on a carcass, then puke it up for their pups back in the den.

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