Monday, May 19, 2008

Standards Of Learning

This week my two oldest are taking Virginia's Standards Of Learning tests, otherwise known as the SOLs (a rather unfortunate acronym). These tests are used to some degree evaluate the students, but mostly to evaluate the schools. Certain minimal levels of achievement must be met by the schools to remain/achieve accreditation. The testing is just part of Virginia's effort to abide by No Child Left Behind.

Anyway, Jake is an old hand at the SOLs and regularly scores very high on them. Nate, however, will be taking them for the first time. He is not too concerned, his biggest problem is going too fast and making careless errors. I'll be picking him up from school not long after his first test tomorrow and I'll get his take on the whole SOL thing. I do know that he is looking forward to the candy that gets passed out at test time. It was really funny when Nate told me about it.

He excitedly announced to me that he'll be getting treats at school and wanted me to guess why. I told him it was for the SOLs and we know the researcher that brought this particular gaming of the system to light. In fact we have gone on joint family vacations with him and his family twice. Nate was stunned and then thought that was pretty cool.

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