One of most sad aspects of this focus on testing and reading, writing, and math in our schools has been the narrowing of the curriculum. The things that can not be tested (generally the arts, design and technology (or shop), and family studies) have been cut to make room for more test preparation.
The reality is that our kids are likely doing as well as they ever have. Except for those kids who do not shine academically - they USED to shine in the arts, design and technology (or shop), and family studies. Now they get bored, and get lost in the system.
We left the snow behind and headed to California for a long weekend of fun. We shoppedm toured wineries, tasted olive oil, met up with good friends, and ate some wonderful food. I can't wait for slow bowl 2009.