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Go Ask Mom

Tales of an Educated Debutante: Should kids miss out on school activities for low EOG scores?

Posted June 9

Adrian H. Wood, PhD, is a writer from eastern North Carolina. She's pictured here with her four kids.

Editor's note: Adrian H. Wood, an eastern North Carolina mom, writer and blogger, makes a special appearance here on Go Ask Mom today. Find her on her blog Tales of an Educated Debutante and her Facebook page where she writes about education issues, among other topics. Wood holds a doctorate in educational research and policy analysis with a minor in curriculum and instruction.

Dear Middle School,

You're a Title 1 school in eastern North Carolina and your students are some of the neediest in our state. My four children go to Title 1 schools too, though we haven't crossed the divide into middle school yet. Your school is located in the town where I grew up and, well, it hit too close to home.

Today, you piled 100 children into two buses and headed to King's Dominion for the day, all expenses paid. The requirement for admission? Kids scored between a 3 and 5 on the EOGs (end of grade tests.) The children who made 2's and under were left behind, 180 children stayed at school, who were largely well behaved, conscientious and sweet, according to a teacher. The words from another teacher were also shared with me, "Why didn't you get a better score? Why didn't you improve?" Heartbreaking.

The Family Education Right to Privacy Act, passed in 1975, ensures that schools maintain a child and their family's confidentiality. According to the N.C. Test Coordinator Handbook, issued by the state Department of Public Instruction, schools are instructed to follow these rules: In no way may schools publicly acknowledge student results from testing including parties, trophies, special recognition, etc. In summary, awards may not be based on test scores.

I made some calls. Did some due diligence. Talked to some higher ups. I encourage you, parents and families, to ask questions. Do your homework. Get involved. Speak up.

The Department of Public Instruction told me that they are not "a policing agency." So I called the principal, a lovely man who became even lovelier once I told him my story and told him that I had heard his. I liked him a lot, truthfully, and think he cares, but, like many administrators, he is under tremendous pressure to perform. So, he did what he thought best. He has assured me that things will be different next year. I hope so.

You are not intending to hurt our children, so where is the pressure originating?

Adrian H. Wood, PhD
Four children, ages 11, 9, 7, and 3; the youngest with extra special needs
Mother/ Educator/ Writer/ Advocate

Adrian H. Wood, PhD, is a N.C. writer who offers glimpses where satire meets truth, faith meets irony, despair meets joy and this educated debutante escapes the laundry, finds true meaning in graceful transparency regarding education, special needs, and the real life that is not always lovely, but worth sharing.


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