I am flying to New Jersey this weekend to meet with schools next week. I have packed up years of test results, grades and course syllabi to show the new school what my kids have been doing during the last few years to try to figure out how they should be placed next year. Because curriculum and standards are not consistent across state lines, I now have to go in and figure out which classes my kids have already taken (pretty sure my son has already taken their sixth grade history in fifth grade), will their basic language arts class be difficult enough (I’ve hard that East Coast schools are two grade levels ahead than Arizona??) and how they will accommodate that my son needs algebra in sixth grade and my daughter needs geometry in eighth. (At least algebra is algebra right? They can’t fight be about that too, right?)
Meanwhile, I have no idea if my first grader is prepared for second grade in New Jersey. She is doing great in class here and she loves school but how does that compare with what New Jersey taught in the first grade. I don’t know. My girlfriend moved from Arizona to a school overseas and she found that Arizona had not done a good enough job preparing her kids.
I did this same exercise four years ago when we moved to Arizona. I brought in all my gifted testing from Georgia and test scores to prove that my kids should be in gifted here. The Arizona teacher was rude about it. She said it’s hard to know coming from other states if they are really gifted. (Guess what? They were.)
It would be nice if curriculum and requirements were consistent from state to state. It would be nice to move 3,000 miles and not have to reinvent the wheel each time. It would be nice to not to have to prove to school districts what my children are qualified to take and what they need.
So what do you think: Have you ever had to move and figure out how classes and curriculum translate across state lines? Would Common Core help this? Are there other ways to moves to different schools easier on families?
(The kicker to this story is that Michael if flying to Paris the day I fly to New Jersey so I still don’t get to see him — or go to Paris! I will try to get up new posts but I may not have them up while I am gone.)