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Justifying the Madness

April 30, 2013

Ladies and Gents, it’s testing season. Every year I become a crazy person around this time of year, which generally involves shedding an embarrassing number of tears over bubble sheets and number 2 pencils.

I feel like a sellout when I inevitably find myself teaching to the test. I love education for the sake of education. I believe that it is the single most important vehicle for dismantling the poverty cycle in the lives of my students. I know that what they learn should be learned in order to make their lives richer and more prosperous.

With all of this in mind, I somehow have come to support all of this testing madness. Okay, okay, “support” is probably the wrong word. “Tolerate” is more like it.

I tolerate standardized testing because, really, we’re teaching a life skill here. Show me a job that doesn’t require some kind of written test at some point, and I’ll show you a job that won’t support a family. No matter the occupation my students ultimately choose, they are going to be expected to pass a test to either begin or advance in their career. Like it or not, this is an essential skill.

If you’re looking for a way to justify the testing madness,  you can just join me in adding “test-taking” to the list of life skills we cultivate every day. You know, right behind “gratitude” and “curiosity.”

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