Entrance Testing

We have finished the entrance testing at both NA and at The Williams School. It was excruciating for me but M had fun…at one of them I seriously doubt that she will be accepted at either school because we have taken an intentionally slow academic approach, while these are prep schools who put children into strong academic work at an early age. This whole thing has been an excruciating exercise in self-examination, values examination and has engaged Hubby and I in a few deep conversations about who we want to be.

The testing at NA was fine. The staff herded the children off by grade level and administered the tests and sent them back. M told me about what was easy and about the things she struggled with and from what she told me, I expect she’ll test around the 50th percentile. This is based on where she is academically, not what she is capable of intellectually. This is not a high enough score to gain her entrance to a school that only takes the cream of the academic crop, especially when there may be no more than one or two seats available for her class. To put this into perspective, my cousin’s kids have tested each year for a long time. Two of her sons are in the high school and one will soon graduate. The eldest of the two repeating-testers gets excellent grades at school and is in the Gifted program. He has yet to be accepted. They are determined to test each year, though, until all of their children have a diploma from NA. M came out of the testing there happy, tired and feeling relatively successful. It wasn’t as if she were lost the whole time but parts of it were way beyond her and still, she felt good about it. The adults were respectful, the teacher very kind. She was excited to think she might have done well enough to be admitted to school there.
Yesterday I took her to The Williams School to be tested. This was not such a positive experience. I only wish that she had been tested by the very sweet and sensitive 2nd grade teacher and not by the guidance counselor. M felt like she did okay on the test but not well. The reading seemed simple enough for her and the basic math facts did too, but there are some holes there and boy did I ever hear about them! While M worked along on her test the woman came down and told me, with condescension oozing from her very pores that M obviously has speech impairments with ‘sh’, ‘ch’ and ‘j’ sounds. Yes. I know. I’ve looked into it and all sources (a friend who works with speech impaired students, our dentist)recommend I wait until her permanent front teeth are all there before we seek help with this. The woman would hear none of that, though, and actually gave Martina a speech lesson without my knowledge.
The GC continued on about the problems with her mathematics: telling time; counting money; measuring. 
I was then informed that Ma’s reading is ‘fine’. She can read Dolch words fluently up to a 3rd grade level. (She neglected to mention that that Dolch site words only go up to a 3rd grade level). You bet the woman underlined every ‘sh’, ‘ch’ and ‘j’ sound on the paper though. By this time she had worked herself into a veritable fit of superiority and told me that, “She reads well but it remains to be seen whether or not she comprehends any of it.”
Through all of the other stuff, I was just taking it in and listening. Yes, yes. I understand that she’s not exactly where your kids are. I understand that she has a speech problem. I understand that time, measurement and money are skills she’s going to need and I’ll hop right on to teaching her those things. Thanks for pointing out how crucial these skills are…but that comment about her reading? That really rubbed me the wrong way. I felt like the GC was implying that M is not just behind where the school’s students are in math but that she is, quite likely, stupid. And it wasn’t just what she said, it was the way she said it…“it remains to be seen whether or not she comprehends any of it.” 

Wow. It seems to me that if my daughter is an academic less-than, perhaps particularly if my daughter is an academic less-than, the GC might treat us as if we are still thinking, feeling human beings who deserve respect and consideration.
I take it that the outcome of our application to The Williams School is a foregone conclusion. No way she’ll get in. Absolutely no way. I was hopeful because the school seemed like a great fit for M and catching her up academically would be a non-issue. But now? I feel a little creepy about it. On a side note, the GCs daughter went to high school with R.  I didn’t mention this yesterday.
I think that I will choose to continue homeschooling regardless of whether or not M is accepted at school. I’m not sure though. It would be a little frightening for me to send her to TWS after the treatment we received yesterday. NA? That would be a tough decision. I would have to work full-time to pay the tuition and I would miss her. A lot. 
For now, we’re just going to spend a little time learning how to count money, measure things and tell time on a clock face. From there, who knows where we’ll end up?

About Bettina Colonna Essert

Illuminated Magdalene High Priestess and facilitator of empowerment and healing circles for girls and women, including a monthly Red Tent Temple. BA in English, minor in anthropology. Waldorf homeschool mom. Reiki master, cranial sacral therapist, herbalist, menstruvist, feminist, epicurian.
This entry was posted in decency, homeschool, Martina, personal, rural life. Bookmark the permalink.

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