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Tuesday, April 16, 2013

An Open Letter to a Standardized Test

Dear standardized test:

I am not usually the kind of person to go around pointing out faults in others;  God knows I have more than a few of my own.  I feel that there are a few discrepancies though, that I'd be remiss in not pointing out. I will list them next to letters of the alphabet,  since you seem to be familiar with the format.

A) You have failed to include a measure to showcase Jimmy and Johnny's recent ability to get along at recess. They both come from broken and abusive  homes, you know, and the gains they've made in sustaining a friendship built on trust is remarkable. It will serve them always.

B) I may have missed it, but was there a question asking about who is a student's favorite author?  Because little Susie now has three! Remember in August,  it was Susie who cried every time she tried to read because she only knew a handful of words? By your numbers, she's still not good enough, but I have to respectfully disagree. She now reads at a beginning 2nd grade level, and her smile extends from ear to ear on library day!

C)  I haven't been able to locate the section with the question about our special needs population, and some of the strides they have made toward life skills they have worked on all year!  Surely that was an oversight, because I know that you would be as proud as our school family is that little Ernie no longer bites his classmates when he wants their attention! In fact, you should see him working side by side with a classmate in a mainstream class on a science project! It's AMAZING!

D) I hope that next year's test will take into account that Jane has been at 4 schools this year, because her parents have to keep moving to find better jobs to support their family. She may not have exceeded your standards, but she's made a few friends and has joined the Girl Scout Troop here at school, so things are looking up for her.

I hope to see these changes made on upcoming copies of your tests. You know how we lazy educators can be sometimes, leaving children behind and whatnot, so we would be appreciative of any help you are able to give.  It will more than make up for the "dryspell" we seem to be experiencing in the salary department over the past 7-10 years. Thank you in advance for all you do!

Mrs. B.

P.S. Could you kindly send a box of tissues with next year's tests? The students and teachers seem to need a lot of them while testing, and there's no money in the budget for any paper products after October.

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