Today I got a phone call from my third-grade son who was in the kind nurse's office and crying. He proceeded to tell me about his jaw and how it was really hurting. I asked if he wanted to come home and he replied that he didn't think he could because of EOGs. Of course you can, I said, it's just a test.
If I don't pass, I won't go to fourth grade.
I told him that wasn't true. I got a letter telling me that you're going to fourth grade, I said. I lied. How did it come to this? He's a good student, only nine, and I'm reminded of his brother last year before the EOGs. I don't know what else to do. I've talked to the principal and the teacher and we've all reassured him. I've met with the superintendent and talked to Governor Roy Cooper. I've written our senators and representatives and Mark Johnson, our state superintendent. Just today, I spoke quite a while to First Lady Cooper's chief of staff who interestingly enough refuses to allow her children to participate in NC EOGs.
I can't find one person that praises them or offers valuable benefits. I hear about showing growth, but who gives a shit? Schools at the top don't grow, there's no where to go. Tell me how EOGs and the pressure they bring benefit my family. What message are we sending to our children? How will they remember the days of elementary school? Will they remember the awesome teachers that nurtured them or will they only remember those tests? Tests that had little to do with amazing schools.
I am making a plea to the general public. Please share your thoughts and your experiences with anyone who is willing to listen and especially with those who don't want to listen. Use your voice to speak for our children and our teachers. Think of Amos and the kids with special needs who are required to read passages even if they can not read. Fifty years ago, a group of people lobbied for children of color to be integrated into the school system. Ten years later, a group of people fought for children with disabilities to have a right to public school access. Today, I ask you stand up and come forward and say no to EOGs. North Carolina, we can do so much better.