Read the story and answer the questions below / by Susie Lubell

Today I took my son for a language test given by the school district for kids who speak other languages at home. I naively marked on his application for elementary school that he speaks Hebrew so the state mandates he has to take this test. We're not even sending him to school next year but we live across the street from the school where it was scheduled so we walked over this afternoon just to see what it was all about. I figured he'd meet with some school counselor who would talk to him for ten minutes and mark that he knew plenty of English. End of story.

Not so much.

I let them know we'd arrived and then a proctor came along to bring him to a testing room. She asked me to wait outside and I was pleasantly surprised when my son did not pitch a fit. He walked right in and sat down across from her at the table. Then she whips out this , I'm not joking, sixty page booklet like he's taking the freaking SAT. Only she's got the number two pencil and is filling in the bubbles. And it's everything from story comprehension to following complex directions (circle the cat's tail and draw a line to the piece of fruit - that kind of thing) to adding punctuation at the end of a sentence. And I would say, from what I could hear hovering at the doorway, he did fine. But, for instance, the punctuation bit was a joke. They were obviously testing to see if he knew the difference between a question or a statement. The proctor read the sentence and he was supposed to point to whether it should be a period or a question mark. The first sentence was something like "Can you help me find my cat" and the proctor read it with the proper intonation. My son pointed to the question mark and she said, very good. So for the next five sentences in the series he pointed to the question mark. To be sure he understands positive reinforcement. Punctuation is another story. They also asked him to pick a scenario he liked better (I think it was between a zoo and a fire station - a place he could choose to visit) and then give two reasons why. He picked the fire station and said he wanted to see the fire engines and then something else I couldn't hear. These were not easy questions. And halfway through he started yawning. Poor kid. Then came the analogies. Training wheels are to riding bikes as floaties are to....? Just kidding. There was no analogy section.

Afterward he said he enjoyed talking to the woman. But if this is the level we can expect in kindergarten then that just further validates our decision to hold him back another year. I suddenly got a taste for the education express he would soon board and I knew another year of preschool would be a gift for him. For the first time I was glad I had the choice to make.