The Walkerville Weekly Reader

National Desk: Hard-hitting journalism from your completely un-biased (pinky swear!) reporters in Walkerville, VA.

Walkerville, VA
Monday, November 13, 2017
Carolyn Purcell, Editor

Maryland school teaches new curriculum

Kids need to learn that tests are more important than what the tests measure, according to teachers.

Potomac Elementary School in Montgomery County, Maryland, responded to criticism of their new test procedures by saying that children need to learn how to pass tests more than they need to learn bits and pieces of math, geography, or english.

Potomac Social Studies teacher Nicholas Remy explained that, as part of this new curriculum, he had added an in-depth study of the witch trials of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. “When the governments of Europe had their worst problems with witches,” said Remy, “they couldn’t examine the witches fast enough to execute them all. So, they came up with tests to determine if a person was a witch, such as having moles, birth marks, or odd growths of hair. Of course, some people who weren’t witches also failed these tests, and they died along with the witches. We teach the students that this is understandable: all that matters is whether or not they fail the test.”

“When these children get to the real world,” said another teacher, “they need to understand that our government, like the European governments battling the witch scourge, uses tests to determine guilt. And passing a test is more important than what the test claims to measure.” For example, while automobile drivers are encouraged to drive safely, what matters is that they pass the test for alcohol content in their blood. They can drive tired, high on caffeine, or just plain with poor driving skills, and as long as they haven’t used a moderate amount of alcohol, they won’t lose their license. But no matter how safely they drive, if they fail that test they are in deep trouble.

Likewise, employees are ‘taught’ that workplace safety is paramount. But if they want to keep their job, they have to make sure they don’t fail the test that measures marijuana use. Alcohol use is fine, as is coming to work too tired to work safely. That won’t cause any employee to lose their job. But fail the drug test and they are out of the job--even if the employee never touched the drug. “Students have to learn that tests are paramount,” said the teacher, “so that they understand that taking perfectly legal actions that cause them to fail a test, such as eating poppyseed bagels, is just as bad as failing the test for using heroin.”

According to the Potomac curriculum, important tests can be found throughout the world, such as urine testing of random international passengers in Jamaican airports. They might also lose their jobs for taking prescription drugs under a doctor’s order.

General Barry McCaffrey applauded the Maryland school, saying “this is exactly the kind of training I’ve been saying our children need. They need to submit to the tests, and if they fail the test they have to acknowledge that it is not the test’s fault. The test is always right, and I’m glad that a curriculum has been developed that teaches this basic truth.”

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