The problem is, the MEAP test has become the elephant in each and every classroom, starting all the way down at the kindergarten level and continuing on through high school.
Teachers at nearly every grade level have made some type of alteration to their curriculum — sometimes at the expense of other material — in order to better help prepare their kids for the MEAP test.
Then there’s the pressure put on students.
Teachers try to assure the youngsters that the tests are nothing to stress out about, and that they won’t have any effect on the kids’ grades.
At the same time, letters are being sent home to parents of third- and fourth-graders, reminding them to get their children to bed on time on the eve of testing days; to make sure their kids have a good breakfast that day; and to dress their children in comfortable clothing, wearing layers to protect against being too warm or too cold.
The e-mail also urges parents to write notes for their kids on testing days to boost their confidence and, hopefully, their performance as well.
Seriously? This is more preparation than most high schoolers put into the ACT or the SAT — tests that have a much more significant bearing on their future than the MEAP. And shouldn’t the parents be doing these things each day anyway?
This isn’t our teachers’ fault. They’re simply carrying out the task laid before them.
That task is an unfortunate one, and it’s causing plenty of undue stress on youngsters — many who fear the MEAP will have significant effects on their report cards — and teachers put under severe stress to crank out positive results year after year.
Our Views reflects the majority opinion of the members of the Grand Haven Tribune editorial board: Kevin Hook, Cheryl Welch, Matt DeYoung, Liz Stuck and Fred VandenBrand. What do you think? E-mail us a letter to the editor to firstname.lastname@example.org or log-in to our website and leave a comment below.