The items below were submitted by readers.

Store this in your "how appropriate" folder...I went to use the bathroom at school yesterday. I decided to opt for the premium staff-only men's room in the office. I had a little trouble getting in though, as the door would only open up enough to squeeze myself in. You see, it seems the room was selected as the storage sight for the cart containing the MEAP tests.

A State of Michigan Consultant invites teachers to "Learn strategies that guide students to think like the MEAP."

Another State of Michigan Consultant advises teachers to teach within the boundaries of the objectives and the kids will score well on the social studies MEAP.

In a meeting with a decision-maker, he/she said that "We have to let parents know how important we think the [MEAP] test is." Only to subsequently say "legitimacy is real low key around here these days." Later in the school year, this same person said that "it may be very helpful for us to get it early and look at it ( in reference to the MEAP booklets)."

"Given the newness of the social studies test, and the fact that schools are just beginning to develop a comprehensive social studies curriculum, I'm confident that these scores will rise with each passing year," state superintendent Arthur Ellis said. Comment- If they are beginning to develop a social studies program, what have they been doing or teach for the past 60 years or so?

My fourth grade nephew stayed awake "all night" worrying about his inability to understand "opportunity cost" which is an elementary state objective to be assessed on the MEAP. He was extremely frustrated that he did not know what it was and turned that frustration against himself. He eventually found out what it was and I think that he is now prepared to make investments in Pokeman Cards. Of course I told his mother to opt him out of the stupid test that is driving teachers to teach this "crap." Her main concern was to not isolate her child and imply that he might be too stupid to take the test. I told her that there were probably many parents who struggled with the same social studies question on opportunity cost and she should seek one of these parents out and have that parent opt his/her child out of the test too and my nephew would not feel isolated. This little story really personalized it for me and revealed concerns that parents may have in taking the opt out step. 


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