Dear **** County Schools,
I am writing you to express my disappointment in my childrens' experiences at your school this school year. Let's start with my Kindergartener, shall we?
My kindergartener is a bright, eager student. She started off the year well, but a few months into it she started coming home saying, "I feel like nothing I do at school is good enough." She is sensitive, so I shrugged it off at first. Then she started getting more and more homework piled on her. It was very stressful for both of us. She was so overstimulated by the end of the day that we had a very hard time getting through it. There were lots of tears and meltdowns, but we did the best we could. We did an hour and a half of homework EVERY.SINGLE.NIGHT. Then homework sheets started coming home, with notes saying "re-do" and "INCOMPLETE" if something wasn't done to her teacher's satisfaction. I started to understand why she was saying "I feel like nothing I do at school is good enough." Here is a perfect example:
These didn't even come home with a letter, Charlotte pulled them out of her homework folder crying, saying "Mrs. ****** told me I have to re-do these. They are too close together and not neat enough!" At this point she is sobbing, and again she says to me, "why can't I do anything good enough?" Well that was IT. You don't have to worry about her education anymore, because now I am in charge of that.
Now for my third grader. I understand that 3rd grade is the grade in which the children have to take the almighty End Of Grade Test. And I understand that y'all have a lot riding on the scores from this test, and without good scores you could lose funding. However, you have made my child a mess. At least three days a week throughout the school year my funny, happy-go-lucky son has come home from school in tears. He is so stressed about his AM and AR scores that it is seemingly all he thinks about. He worries. He has developed heart burn after meals. He has also expressed to me that he feels as though his best is never good enough while he is at school. He has been penalized by his teacher for not reaching his AR goals on time. He has had to sit out of recess to work on his AR, even though it is the LAW that he must have 30 minutes of physical activity every school day. He has said on several occasions that his teacher and others are condescending to the students when they don't meet their goals. For example, "oh good job, you didn't meet your goal, I guess you won't be going to recess."
There is a big party coming up for all of the children who have reached 100% of their AM and AR goals this quarter. Is my straight-A student going? Nope. Because he has 100% in AM and only 80% in AR. The sad thing is, he knows it's impossible to reach his goal in time at this point, but he is trying so hard to get there. He is going above and beyond what he thought he could do, but instead of being rewarded he is going to be punished. His best is never good enough for his teacher or this school it would seem.
**** County Schools, I sent you my precious children as little lumps of clay, expecting you to help mold them into the people they are supposed to be. Instead you hammer all of these children into the same exact shape. Everyone has to be the same. Everyone has to get a perfect score. Everyone wears the uniform, in the right colors, and God forbid you deviate from it even slightly. No one gets to be special.
My children are special, they are smart, and I will be educating them from now on. Sadly you have lost two of your best students, and I'm sure if other parents are paying attention you will be losing more. I sincerely hope you think about the pressure you are putting on these children. They are children, after all.
The Newest Homeschool Mom on the Block
****IF YOU HAVE HAD SIMILAR EXPERIENCES AND YOU AGREE THAT OUR PUBLIC SCHOOLS ARE BROKEN BECAUSE OF OUR LAWMAKERS, PLEASE SHARE THIS POST ON FACEBOOK, TWITTER, WHEREVER. PLEASE COMMENT BELOW AND TELL ME YOUR STORIES. ONE PERSON HAS TO FIGHT TO BE HEARD, BUT A GROUP HAS A POWERFUL VOICE!****