Banning Kids From Flushing Toilets During Tests Is A ‘Wee’ Bit Insane

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testAn elementary school in Florida (whose state motto is “Where Crazy Was Born”) is being criticized by parents for taking standardized testing too seriously. Yes, you heard right — the parents think the school is going too far. Either we have stepped into the twilight zone or this school has done something that goes way beyond the pale. Spoiler: it’s the second.

During the Florida Comprehensive Assesment Test last spring, teachers at Avalon Elementary School asked students not to flush toilets during the test as they were concerned that it might distract other test takers. It’s the old, “If it’s yellow, let it mellow, if it’s brown, ruin the bathroom experience for all who come after you” approach, which is usually meant to conserve water but here is used to embarrass children and horrify janitors.

When you’re getting into rules about toilet flushing, it might be a good time to rethink your approach to testing. This is only the latest in test-taking mania at Avalon Elementary, however. An article in The Orlando Sentinel details a number of “activities and directives” that a group of parents is asking the school to reconsider before testing begins again this year:

Other items on their re-evaluation list include testing pep rallies, FCAT T-shirts, calling test days “lockdowns” and having children in the primary grades write encouraging notes to older students about to take the exams.

Here at Avalon Elementary Test Taking School For People Who Love Tests, we’re jizzing in our pants for standardized tests.

Holy moly, folks! Pep rallies for a test?! Test day “lockdowns?” I’m sure that the school’s goal was to turn a potentially nerve-wracking test into a positive and supportive experience, and that’s a great goal to have. However, when you’re, “blaring the theme song from ‘Rocky’ during morning drop-off on testing days,” and decorating the hallways for a test, you’ve done too much. These are elementary school kids. Take the foot off the gas, Avalon. I think a few deep breaths and some Ambien are required, here.

Despite the madness, parents have made clear that they love their school. Avalon gets great standardized test scores (I would hope so) and receives A’s from the state. Parents are just worried that the hyper-awareness on testing is doing more harm than good. Said Michele Casey-Driscoll, an Avalon parent and the Student Advisory Council’s chairman, “We’re so concerned about the minutiae of the testing that we’re not taking time to do projects and creative writing and performance and public speaking.” And toilet-flushing. Which I would argue is also an important life skill.

(Photo: Lisa F. Young / Shutterstock)