Blog on the Run: Reloaded

Tuesday, January 26, 2010 11:04 pm

Hooper v. No Child Left Behind, cont.

Among the graded papers Hooper brought home today was one in which he was asked to infer and provide the meaning of a bolded word in a sentence by examining the context. The sentence was: “I pleaded with my dad for a $2 raise in my allowance.”

Hooper hadn’t the first idea what “pleaded” meant, but he offered this substitute: “did chores.” Which I thought was a pretty good guess for an 8-year-old, particularly given how things work in this house. The teacher, not so much.

The sentence also conjured in my mind this short courtroom scenario:

“How do the defendants plead?”

“Dad and I plead guilty, Your Honor.”

“The plea is accepted, and I hereby sentence you to a $2 raise in your allowance.”

Maybe it’s stuff like this that makes Michael Barone so hostile to manipulating words.

Friday, September 25, 2009 6:05 am

I’m not sure how he and standardized testing are going to get along

Filed under: Hooper — Lex @ 6:05 am
Tags: , ,

Two episodes during Hooper’s reading-comprehension homework this week have led me to think he might not be the poster child for No Child Left Behind-approved standardized testing.

In the first episode, he read a segment about how the ancient Norse celebrated some festival or other having to do with elves they believed lived in the forest. The question, intended to make the reader regurgitate a sentence from the selection, read, “If you were [a member of this group], how would you celebrate [this festival]?” Hooper wrote, “I would thank God and dance with the elves.” The teacher marked it wrong, and I felt compelled to write on the paper, “Well, it DID ask how HE would celebrate it … ”

In the second episode, he read a passage in the form of a letter ostensibly written from a girl at summer camp to her parents back home, listing the things she had done. The question was: What was the author’s purpose? Hooper wrote, “To tech [sic] you how to undrstand [sic] what you read.”

I said, “Buddy, that means the author of this section, the girl. What is HER purpose?” And he said, “NO, Daddy, she’s not the REAL author. The REAL author wrote the page. The REAL author is trying to teach you about reading.”

So at the age of 8, he’s already going meta on me. And unfortunately for Hooper’s teacher, I’m finding it harder to argue with him about this than she probably cares for.

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