I remember graduating being in the top 10 percentile throughout high school. I remember having As and Bs, thinking I knew what I was doing. Then I had to take a full year of remedial Language Arts and Math. I remember the counselor telling me that these 6 classes — yes, dammit 6 classes in a quarter system — wouldn’t count towards my college graduation. More than 10 years after college and still owing Sallie Mae more than $75K, I’m still paying for those courses.
So when I see folks talking about “Opt-Out”, I’m confused. Then when I look deeper and I see folks like Diane Ravitch saying it I get angry. Here’s why. Diane’s kids didn’t grow up where I grew up. For me, the lack of quality education puts me on a path to crime, violence and homelessness. I know this because I was raised by parents with no education and that was my experience growing up. It’s all I knew.
The tests aren’t what’s hurting our self-esteem, it’s the not mastering what the hell I was supposed to learn when you made me come to your school everyday that’s making us feel some type of way!