It has me feeling some kind of way.
I can’t be alone in this. I know we are legion, those of us wanting to teach in a way that aligns with our moral compass. We are legion, those of us in systems that say they are student-centered, that focus on the development of the whole child, that tell us it’s not about test scores are teaching to the test.
Until test season rolls around, and the conversation becomes about student growth.
As measured by said testing.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m a data-and-number-phile. Give me test scores, and I am ALL about the error analysis and conclusions to be drawn. I am all about the whole where-are-we-where-do-we-want-to-be-how-will-we-get-there quest.
I just…worry. I worry that colleagues of mine across districts find themselves more often in a march towards Progress, toward Growth, which require Standardization and Consistency. Which are important means, but for many it is an end. I worry we’re losing the heart of things.
That teachers are losing heart.
And so, in the hopes that we can find a better way, and with apologies to William Carlos Williams, I offer the following poems to mark standardized test season:
The Grade School Student
So much depends
Taking a test
In front of an
This is Just to Say
I have taught
that were in
you were probably
they were curious
and so earnest