Planting the wrong seeds

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I offer the following as food for thought:

Kindergarten gets tough as kids are forced to bubble in multiple choice tests:
They don’t even know how to hold a pencil yet, but kindergartners are getting a taste of the tough side of education with Common Core standardized math tests.”
BY RACHEL MONAHAN, NEW YORK DAILY NEWS, Thursday, October 10, 2013, 2:30 AM

Administering the exams is a complete headache, teachers said. “They don’t know how to hold pencils,” said a Bronx kindergarten teacher whose class recently took the Pearson exam. “They don’t know letters, and you have answers that say A, B, C or D and you’re asking them to bubble in . . . They break down; they cry.”

These tests probably also inspire teachers to rescue students. I can easily see a kindergarten teacher helping students to find the right bubbles. I can see that teacher clumsily guiding a pencil in little circles and swirls around a bubble, giving that student a first taste of “getting help” on a test. What are we teaching?