Teacher Asks 4th Grader to Take Standardized Test While in Hospital for Brain Surgery Scanning

hospital bedIf you already think the pressure on students to take standardized tests in school is overwhelming, wait until you hear this unbelievable story. Joey Furlong, a fourth grader in New York, was lying in a hospital, being screened for possible brain surgery, when in walked a teacher who asked him to take a state test.

Seriously. According to CBS 6, the boy, who has epilepsy, was hooked up to an IV, an EEG, and other medical devices. He was undergoing testing to see if surgeons might be able to stop his seizures with surgery. Then, out of nowhere, a woman from the public school system walked in and said she was there to give him the Foruth Grade State test.

His parents, understandably, were shocked.


Joey's mom, Tami, told the station, "It just floored me that somebody is sending teachers to sick kids and expecting them to take a New York State test." She said they'd already made arrangements for him to take the test at another time, but apparently that wasn't good enough for the state testing board.

Fortunately, Joey's father was in the room at the time and prevented Joey from taking the test. The teacher reportedly left without protest. But still ... wow.

Bethlehem Central School District said it had nothing to do with the incident. Rather the teacher came directly from the state. Apparently children who spend more than three days in the hospital are offered school instruction during their stay, which includes testing. I'm sure in some cases that's welcome -- such as to keep them from falling behind in their daily work. In this case, however, it's flat out crazy, and such a prime example of how ridiculously out of hand these tests have gotten.

Yes, we need ways to measure our students' and teachers' performance, but the pressure on the kids to take them and the focus of the schools to teach them is ridiculous. We've got to figure out a better way.

Can you believe this boy was approached in his hospital bed to take a standardized test? Do you feel the pressure of standardized testing on your children?

Image via markhillary/Flickr

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