Conflicted


I learned Friday that all of my students passed both the math and ELA tests. That means, with the social studies test they took in November, every last one of my students passed each test – something that wasn’t true last year.

When I first saw the report Friday, I felt a surge of pride for my students. And then, when I told them, with little hesitation, that they all passed both tests, they were elated, and I felt joyful again.

Please tell me I only feel this way because they worked hard for something and accomplished it…

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3 responses to “Conflicted

  1. I don’t want to rain on your parade but – personally – I don’t care how well my students do or don’t do on standardized tests, except for how the powers-that-be will use the scores to judge them. They’re stand-alone tests that really measures one thing: how well they take tests.

    On top of that, we’re told kids met the promotional criteria or didn’t, but so many could have gotten 2s, which is technically failing. But because someone decided this time that a 2 meets promotional criteria, they’re told they passed. And when they find out in July they really got a 2, what message does that send?

    It’s meaningless, which is something you once told me 🙂

    • Well, as I imply subtly through what I said at the end and as I imply not so subtly in my title, I am not sure how to feel. I am happy for the kids on the basis of them being happy for themselves and that their work paid off (in the eyes of the flawed system). But yes, obviously all your points are right. They may all have 2s for all I know. The message in July will be, “Who cares? I’m done there anyway.” Hence, as I say, “Conflicted.”

  2. Unfortunately, as long as the powers that be measure success in numbers 1-4, you will always be conflicted. You know, as does anyone who thinks rationally, that test scores are not the end all and be all. They get in the way and impede progress. There are many things that are so much more important in the development of a well rounded child. You work very hard to build a sense of community in your classroom. Through your creative teaching, you expose your students to things they may have never experienced. You lead by example. Yes, you should be happy because your students feel a sense of achievement because they passed the tests. They are too young to realize that they are pawns in the game of tests so let them celebrate the results of their hard work. You too should celebrate the results of your hard work. Look at your students now as compared to how they were in September. You all get 4s.

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