In Honor of Teachers

One hundred years from now It will not matter what kind of car I drove, What kind of house I lived in, how much money was in my bank account nor what my clothes looked like. But the world may be a better place because I was important in the life of a child. ~Forest Witcraft At the heart of every great teacher is the belief that he or she makes a difference in children’s lives.   This admirable goal, however, is becoming more difficult for teachers.  Sadly—due to budget Click here to read more!

A Sad Consequence of High-stakes Testing

About a year ago I visited an elementary school and was deeply saddened by the realities of struggling schools in the era of No Child Left Behind (NCLB).   During my short two-hour visit there, the following occurred.   A ten-year old asked me three times for food from the plate I was carrying while I walked through the playground. A pushing match and war of words between eleven year olds almost exploded into an all out fist fight (and would have if the principal hadn’t Click here to read more!

How Standardized Testing Hurts Kids: Part 5

Johnny was an active eight-year-old boy who loved drawing, Pokémon, and soccer.  He also struggled with a learning disability and Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD). Sadly, Johnny suffered through ten hours of testing as a third grader in my class in the early 2000s.  He tried desperately to stay focused hour after hour.  His learning disability was similar to dyslexia, which made following and bubbling in answers on his multiple-choice answer sheet torturous. In addition, as part of Click here to read more!

How Standardized Testing Hurts Kids: Part 4

I remember Monica well.  It was day two of testing for my fourth graders. She simply put her head down and started crying.  She said, “I can’t do this”.  We had four more days, about 11 hours left of testing. My heart ached for her.  I put my hand on her shoulder and said all you can do is your best. Monica had moved to the United States just four months prior. She was a smart girl and could read and write well in her own language.  Understandably, taking tests in a new language Click here to read more!

How Standardized Testing Hurts Kids: Part 2

Testing season is here. You will soon start receiving the yearly notices, if you haven’t already. You know those letters, notes, e-mails, and phone messages you receive from schools on the importance of sending your children to school prepared for the upcoming high-stakes tests.  I received the first of the test season letters last night from the superintendent of my daughter’s school district.   The notices and reminders always include some version of the following: Send Click here to read more!