Friday, March 9, 2012

Another e-mail to Fragrant Hills

To the Principal:

Younger Daughter missed the bus to school today because I discovered at the last possible moment that she was supposed to wear black. She refused to go to school without black clothes. She doesn't have any black clothes (I'm not a fan of black clothes for young children.) I eventually put her in one of her older sister's black shirts.

Then I found the notation in her homework folder that she's supposed to wear black for a PSSA pep rally! I am completely opposed to the current focus on standardized tests, which in my (widely shared) opinion is wrecking public education. It's bad enough that you're holding a pep rally for a standardized test, but to ask me to dress my child to show support is too much. Please don't do this again.

Sincerely, FedUpMom


  1. So weird that you bring this up today - I just spoke up AGAINST testing pep rallies today in a meeting. I had no idea they were so popular. Something about it is just really sick to me. Also, didn't know you were a fellow Pennsylvanian! Eastern PA, I'm assuming, because of the Quaker schools you write about? I'm from the Philly area, so TONS of my friends went to Friends schools.

    But what's wrong with school colors?!

  2. They have pep rallies now to cheer on standardized tests?

    What's next, pep rallies for lice?

  3. TeacHer, I don't know that there's anything wrong with school colors, exactly, it just seems weird for an elementary school. I associate school colors with high school sports teams. It seems to me like part of the general trickle-down, like the way homework is now being assigned in preschool.

    Anonymous, my thoughts exactly. It's like having a pep rally for lice, or locusts, or the plague. ARGH!

  4. Re: school colours- in my country, school uniforms are a part of nearly all schools, public and private. The downside is that you don't get any individual freedom in what to wear, but at the same time it's great not having to decide what to wear every day. It's not really considered a big deal here, but maybe that's just because we're so used to it now.

    I agree with your thoughts on pep rallies for standardised tests. Why not do pep rallies for something more meaningful instead, such as an end to standardised testing?

  5. I was about to chime in and add that my elementary school, 20 years ago, had school colors -- and then I remembered, oh god, we had a pep rally for a standardized test too!

    It wasn't actually called that, but we sat through an assembly in 6th grade during which I remember being subjected to a sort of rap song that went, "Bust the test, bust the test baby! Bust the test, I don't mean maybe."

    The sad thing is I remember that horrible song much better than probably anything else I learned that year.

    The test in question was the literacy passport, a reading and writing (it may have had a math component?) test we had to pass before we could start high school. There was a lot of fuss about this test, which seemed dumb to me because we were taking it in 6th grade and would have plenty of chances to re-take it before ninth grade. I'm sure there are kids who struggled with it, but I doubt missing an hour of class to hear a song encouraging them to "bust the test" helped.

  6. Megan, you were clearly far ahead of your time.

    Hienuri, school uniforms! I feel another post coming on!

  7. I love the "please don't do this again." Tidy and crystal clear. Don't do this again.