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Standardized Tests...MT. DEW...and Trail Mix Please

How desperate have we become? An elementary school in Florida was caught giving kids 3 tablespoons of Mt. Dew in a dixie cup and some trail mix prior to the state assessment. What makes the details more troubling is that the Principal acknowledged that the school had been using this practice for 10 years. Florida law prohibits the serving of soda in schools.

One grandmother discovered the practice and alerted the school board. Once it became public, the school immediately ended the practice. The strength of her convictions caused the immediate reversal of this policy. From an ethical standpoint, the school was inadvertently teaching kids you have to juice up in order to pass a test.

What is telling is that all of the adults teaching inside the building never saw the practice as the wrong precedent. Even more troubling, for 10 years, no one thought that maybe it sends the wrong message to elementary children. This is further evidence that standardized testing creates an environment of risk for children who are vulnerable. Without parental control, schools succumb to the pressures of assessments and put our children at risk both socially and emotionally.

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