I almost didn’t write about testing this year at all. In fact, two reporters from prominent NYC news publications contacted me in the last week to talk about how I’m preparing for the NY State ELA test, which will take place over the next three days. I didn’t respond. That wasn’t because I don’t respect the journalists or their need to cover standardized testing as news; I didn’t respond because I felt I didn’t have anything I wanted to say. I don’t mind tests in general, but I’m sick of this yearly game. I’m sick of what’s on the exams. There are so many more interesting, worthwhile things we could be doing, even when it comes to testing our students.
I’m sick of what these tests mean in our classrooms, and what they represent for our students and the teaching profession. The state and companies throw something at us each year, and we run and try to catch it. Maybe, like last year, they throw it too far and then tell us it’s okay if we couldn’t catch it. They are raising the bar, and that’s a good thing. Well, I may have jumped and caught that ball last year, but as I wrote in a poem, I don’t raise bars. I raise children.
Rest up, NYC. It’s Testing Eve.