The 27th Line

Here is an important read about standardized testing written by a middle school teacher. If you are not a teacher, please read this. He says it all so well. This over-testing and over-assessing of students needs to stop. If our schools are to help nurture our youth, give schools the time to do just that and not worry so much about data which only reflects a student’s performance on one particular day of the year.

Ben Lewellyn-Taylor

Tomorrow my students will take their first round of STAAR testing in Writing, a subject I teach twice a day. The test is scored by their responses to 40 multiple-choice revising and editing questions along with 2 essays—one narrative and one expository.

Although the Writing test is one of three they must pass in the 7th grade (along with Reading and Math), it was important to me to communicate to my students that it doesn’t mean that much to me.

Allow me to explain. I have known my students for 8 months. I spend more time each day with them than with anyone else. I teach some of them for 3 hours a day (the lucky ducks who have me for Reading, AVID, and Language Arts).

They are more aware of my quirks than anyone else (including myself—apparently I have an “about-to-go-off” face). They have taught me more…

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