Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Lola has been somewhat apprehensive about the upcoming CRCT exams. These exams are given to all 5th graders in the state of Georgia and the results of these tests determine whether or not they advance to the 6th grade. That in itself is pretty scary, for a number of reasons, which I won’t get into now, or else I’ll be up on the proverbial soapbox once again.
The Good News: Lola is required to take only the mathematics exam (the reason being that mathematics is a universal subject and yada yada yada….)
The Bad News: Much of the mathematics exam is story problems in ENGLISH and Lola has only been in American school for 2.5 months…plus the fact that she was in the 3rd grade in Russia…
Yes, the test will be read out loud to her, but she has told me on numerous occasions that she has difficulty understanding some of the teachers in her school are saying (perhaps it’s due to regional accents? I know the Southern accent can be a very strange thing to hear for even English-speaking people!) yet she told me she understands me at all times. Maybe they talk too fast…. I don’t know…..
I personally have big issues with a school system testing and determining the fate of a child that has not been in an American school for even a full semester. Both Lola and I would have been happy if she had initially been placed in the 4th grade, and when I discovered she was advanced to the 5th grade I addressed it with her teachers a few times, but was assured that their decision was in Lola’s best interest. Now, here we are nearing the Test Day, and I must say that I wish I was there to read the test to her. I told her last night that we have worked very hard on what she needs to know for the test and to just relax and take her time, and do her best. Whatever the outcome, she still is Number ONE in my book and I’ll help her work more on the skills she needs to accomplish this.
She is afraid that they will retain her for another year in the fifth grade. I have talked with her teachers and after they told me they don’t expect her to pass the exam they said that it will be recommended that she take summer school and/or I can write a letter of petition requesting they pass her on to the 6th grade due to the fact that she has been in school for only 2-1/2 months and since I’m a native English speaker she will have a greater advantage to learn English skills at a quicker pace.
Yes, she will need to take the test later on, but the next time she should have a greater level of understanding.
I just need to remember that when writing this letter of petition I need to throw the soapbox away and just state facts…and it’s difficult to be a neutral party when you feel an injustice is taking place that involves your child…
The upside of this is that Lola may discover she understands more than she thinks she does and do quite well on the test! She has been very eager to do Funbrain Math games and the CRCT math prep website games on the computer almost every day, and even her after-school teacher said her math skills are rapidly improving. I’ll make sure to provide an update on this.