Welcome to America. This is a pencil. Now fill in those bubbles!


The Ohio Achievement Test lived up to all its grand ridiculousness at Joseph Gallagher school, on West 65th Street, last month. The K-8 school, which we profiled last month as the equivalent to a model United Nations, had yet another refugee family enroll two days before the start of the first statewide standardized test. The new students came from Burundi, a tiny country in south eastern Africa. Like Ohio, it’s nestled next to a massive lake. But unlike Ohio (at least for now), it’s the poorest country on the planet. ... The students’ exam was their initial experience with any form of organized education. It was also their first experience with using a pencil. So the test could actually be looked at as a way that allowed them to perfect the age old tradition of bubble filling, instead of, say, learning how to write their names with letters. Super. Though their scores will not count against the performance of the school -- which is good, since the school has not met benchmarks for the last six years and is at risk of seeing its entire staff fired as a result -- the scores are important for state-wide participation points. So having them sit through this strange, monotonous, one-size-fits-all exam was a must, even if hey had no idea what the hell was going on. Once again it proves our not-so-scientific theory: No Child Left Behind + Public Education = huh? – Bradley Campbell


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