Test Side Effects-Africa doesn’t exist…a reality check from Jim Gates

From Jim Gates’ blog today:

Jim Gates’ Blog

Test Side Effects – Africa doesn’t exist

Here’s the gist of a conversation from today.

Upon hearing of a wonderful middle school project on Africa, this coach sent it off to her middle school teachers, suggesting that it would be a lot of fun, etc etc. The response she got back, “We wrote Africa out of the curriculum three years ago.”

They are devoting more time to Western Civilization topics. Nobody else has picked up the topic, either, although one person does refer to it in a geography class.

This HAS to be because Africa doesn’t appear on any state tests. Why else would you stop talking about the world’s second largest continent? It has both the largest and the smallest countries, deserts, rain forests.. and AIDS, and Darfur, and … oh my. We’ve heard speakers at TED talking about how Africa is the world’s hottest emerging market, too.

Oh, and they’re now debating removing the Middle East next. I HAVE to believe that SOMEBODY at the high school will at least address that topic, tho. Don’t you? But, who will do Africa?

Can you hear me screaming? “Wait, Jim. Investigate first. Maybe they DID just shuffle it around to another grade.”

Yes. That’s it. That’s what’s happening. I overreacted. Hopefully.