My daughter has benefited greatly from attending Neal Middle School these past three years. She has had teachers who are enthusiastic and creative, teachers who care about her welfare as well as her education. She has learned to think more critically with their practical application approach to teaching every subject.
[NOTE: This article was originally published on the blog of the Durham Association of Educators. Click HERE to read it and view the photographs of Neal and its faculty and staff.]
Obviously, the Durham Association of Educators has a critique of the onslaught of standardized testing that our kids are facing in schools every day. Most of them don’t measure anything meaningful. They don’t give teachers real-time results that we can use in ways that our own ongoing systems of assessment can. They operate off of the assumption that all kids can be standardized and that differences in culture and language don’t matter. They are used to punish. They are borderline child abuse (you ever see the discomfort of a third grader trying to sit still and do anything for an hour, much less the 4-8 we sometimes require of them during these tests?). And, they mostly exist so that some corporation can squeeze some profit out of taxpayer coffers.