I dread third grade. Not because of being that much closer to tween eye rolls, attitude, or the onset of puberty. Trust me, I dread all of those things but in my home state, third grade marks the first year of standardized testing in public schools. The State of Texas Assessments for Academic Readiness, or STAAR program, begins their annual testing of students’ skills.
For standardized tests, at least in our state, the rules are inconsistently applied and vague. I hate the idea of a young child feeling the tick-tock pressure of a timed test, and don’t appreciate the control the STAAR program removes from our school district, particularly the grading process.
But these tests are sadly a fact of life and regardless of how you feel about them, there’s one thing we can all agree on: McDonald’s breakfast makes it a little better. Especially for lucky students in Texas, who are getting breakfast freebies in conjunction with the STAAR test.
I get that an Egg McMuffin doesn’t take away the suck factor of standardized testing.
But maybe it helps a little.
For the past two years, San Antonio area McDonald’s have been offering a free day of breakfast tied to the test; and this year, they’ve added a second day of freebies.
Yesterday, students in grades third through eighth (and their teachers!) — in both San Antonio and other Texas cities — were offered an Egg White Delight McMuffin or Fruit and Maple Oatmeal for free. That same day, students in these grades were assessed in various subjects, such as reading, math, writing, science, and social studies — and were certainly feeling the stress.
State-wide assessments for high school students will take place on March 30th and McDonald’s is ready to go with more goodness. San Antonio area McDonald’s are giving away free Sausage McGriddles all day through their mobile app, according to My San Antonio. The deal is open to high school students, their parents, and teachers — all the people who feel the most uptight during this time. This freebie will also be offered for those in the following areas: Austin, San Angelo, Waco, Abilene, Lubbock, North Texas, and Wichita Falls.
This free treat also helps students who might not get a hot breakfast every school day, on what is essentially a very important school day. The idea of an elementary school-aged child — or any child — going to school hungry makes me sad. So does the idea of a third-grader’s performance on a test having a strong impact on their academic future, but McDonald’s probably can’t fix that.
What they can do is provide a treat and a pick-me-up on a day where stress and pressure are turned up 17 notches.
Does free breakfast on one day out of the year negate everything we don’t like about standardized school testing or the scary changes in our education system? No. But hearing how McDonald’s is doing their small part just makes you feel good, doesn’t it?