Jeff Bryant. I have this recurring nightmare – one that, I fear, is about to become reality for most of America’s school children. In my dream, I’m back in elementary school. It’s testing day and I’m struggling to remember my locker combination and get to class on time. My backpack implausibly opens and spills its contents into the hallway. Indifferent schoolmates rush by.
Finally I’m seated in class. The other students are already busily filling out their tests. An unfriendly proctor passes out the exam, and as I scan down the page, my stomach seizes into knots. I can’t answer a single question. The math problems are a confusion of numbers and symbols. The readings are worded with vocabulary totally foreign to me.
Oh, and did I mention I’m not wearing any pants?
Why do I fear my recurring nightmare – except the part about not wearing any pants – is becoming a reality for more of America’s school children? And why should anyone professing to care about the welfare of the nation’s school children care about this? More...