Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Who Exactly Are You Testing Here, Urban Mom?
Test #1: 96th percentile in reading and 77th percentile in math.
I was crushed. Not by the scores, mind you. She's a happy, playful, friendly, socially adept and curious kid, and yes, those things are the most important things. Please don't leave me grumpy comments about the scores themselves. I'm massively concerned about the drop, about the sudden change. I figured that when I was starting to get in over my head that the scores would sliiiiide down over a period of time. So it was this potential evidence about whether I am utterly bombing as my daughters' teacher that had me sitting catatonically with the letter and with tears welling up in my eyes.
Urban Dad, who already spends the majority of his days running around tending to things and people, had to talk me down.
"She had a bad day; so what!"
"Give me a break, she knows math!" (this from a former trader the the Mercantile Exchange)
"They screwed up the test, obviously."
"Even if the test is right, math is the easiest thing to fix -- it's just practice."
"Will you stop? You're doing a great job! She's getting a great education because of you. Forget about this!"
"You remember Vimal?" (i do... brilliant former student of u-dad's... several years later, he went into finance, and u-dad and i gave him money to invest; we also attended his wedding) "Vimal failed the AP test for my class because he accidentally filled in the blanks on the computer form wrong. Do you hear me? Vimal got a failing score." (i hadn't known this before) "So STOP, you haven't done anything wrong!"
When Urban Kid 1 was in the room later -- no, we haven't shared this with her -- he casually asked her a few math questions, a la how homeschool kids are often drilled by strangers. Without looking up, she popped off correct answers. And she recalled the tests as easy (so perhaps she was too cavalier?)
Now if I want to play the My Baby Is Perfect It's You That's The Problem Game, I can do that as well as any other parent. At the first test, there was a blizzard bad enough to make me opt for the El rather than driving. By the time we trained down there, walked to the facility, took the test, and trained back, the test was an aaaaallllllll daaaayyyy event. So yeah, there ya go.... it was the weather! For the second test, we drove there, easily found our way to the facility, and walked in to find the facility's thermometer cranking. While we were dressed for Chicago in December, it felt like
ahem, no, I can't remember which test was given on which day.
My gut tells me that Urban Kid 1 is fine. When we work together every day, she picks up the concepts and runs with them. But I'm a numbers-wound kind of person in my head, and I need to lose this nagging doubt, so I called these folks for help settling my internal dispute.