By George Minkowski
DEERFIELD, IL— The Prairie State Achievement Test was designed to test students’ knowledge of science trivia, sign reading, and Illinois-related math skills. The test was implemented in 2005 to assess whether or not high school students were ready to graduate and face their future of working on a farm. Last week, DHS Juniors had their farm-operating aptitude tested during a late start and reports are already coming in indicating how woefully unprepared they would be if they were to start their predetermined agricultural careers tomorrow.
According to the Illinois State Board of Education, Deerfield High School “totally rocked” the science trivia section and scored “better than Highland Park, at least” on the sign reading test. However, Deerfield’s performance on the “applied” math section was an “epic fail.” State Superintendant Dr. Christopher Koch lamented Deerfield’s performance on this section. “A simple question: students are given a diagram of their house on a map labeled in miles and given the amount of corn they grew. We tell them how many pounds of corn go into a bushel, but ask them how many bushels per acre they grew. How could they not figure that one out?!” Students thought this question was exceedingly difficult only because they didn’t have the “Farm Facts” application on their calculators that all other Illinois students have.
The application contains useful features like a calculator that determines how many hours you must work to harvest a certain amount of soy beans if your cousin, Jebediah, contracts Mad Cow Disease and urinates on 1/8 of the beans you harvest every 37 minutes. It also adds numbers together. Deerfield students needed to crunch numbers logically and in dozens of intelligent steps, a strategy that simply doesn’t work on the Illinois standardized tests where “anything goes.” Until Deerfield can get its numbers up on this life-determining test, it’s Blue Ribbon will temporarily be taken away. “This is an absolute shame,” said some administrator. “It is simply inexcusable that Deerfield students wouldn’t know how to deliver a calf when they are inevitably confronted with the situation as Illinois citizens.” In fact, Deerfield scored in the bottom 1% of the state in farm- proficiency, the only thing the test is really supposed to determine. As a result, Deerfield plans to make several changes to its course offerings and requirements.
First and foremost, the Freshman Advisory program will be cut because “there are no friends on an Illinois farm—only hard work and sadness.” Courses that teach evolution with be replaced with courses that teach the “why does it matter?” doctrine. Each homeroom will be responsible for a gaggle of geese, a warren of rabbits, and an agitated armadillo. Additionally, manure will be added as a medium for all AP Art classes.
These changes are undoubtedly going to cause a great deal of controversy, however, Deerfield’s sub-sub-par achievement on the obviously necessary Prairie State test cannot be continually ignored. Changes need to be made before every Deerfield graduate ends up on a farm not knowing how many scarecrows to install if he or she only has $75 dollars to spend, 28 pounds of hay and unlimited access to Cousin Steve’s dresser if each scarecrow has a scare radius of 1.5 acres.