Monday, May 10, 2010

That’s Not Fair

So last week Victoria was reading aloud a news article about some of the budget cut that the state is implementing for Georgia schools. Some of the cuts I agree with and others I think are really cutting to deep in the wrong areas. Anyway, not to get off track on a political discussion, one of the budget cuts called for cancelling a certain test that is currently required in 2nd grade. I think this is a good thing. I just feel that we have too much testing in order to qualify for federal moneys, etc, and not nearly enough teaching. Apparently the state agrees and felt that this test really wasn’t needed.
Well as Victoria was reading this article to me my 6th grader, upon hearing that her sibling will not have to take this 2nd grade test exclaimed, “That is so unfair!”. Hmm. This got me thinking. Why did she feel this way? So I asked her. Did she think the test was meaningful? No. Did she herself benefit from the test? No. Then why did she think it was unfair? After a little discussion I discovered that she thought the change was actually for the better but she was upset that they hadn’t done it while she was in 2nd grade.
I wonder how many times we have continued a tradition, a ritual, or anything that we didn’t like when we went through it just because we think it would be unfair for us to have to do something that those coming behind us didn’t have to do. How often do we put our kids through things just because that’s the way we had to do it? I wonder how deep this mindset penetrates our society. Last year Victoria read a book that had Chinese foot binding as a major theme. I wonder how many of these women did these to their daughters just because they felt it would be unfair for them to not go through it after they had. I wonder if there were any salve owners in the south who felt that slavery was wrong but that it would be unfair for them to try to work without them. I could go on but I think you get the point.
I’ve given my kids the “walk to school in the snow, uphill both ways” argument several times. When I do it I hope they are taking away from it that I think it’s cool that they have access to cell phones, the internet, and other modern conveniences. They should be thankful that they have all of these things. I sure hope they don’t think that I’m crying foul. Yes, I wish that I’d have had some of the benefits as a kid that they have now. But I would hate for them to think that I’m putting them through something that I disagree with just because I had to do it.

1 comment:

  1. Kids today have it too easy!

    Nah, just kidding. I often think about that "but that's how they did it when we were kids" thing as a teacher. Many teachers do things just because that's how they were taught or they do it because the parents expect them to because, again, that's how they were taught. The whole "if was good enough for me" syndrome. Like pointless weekly spelling tests, mindless homework heck, even the grading system in general...