It always comes up this time of year…

The chilly breeze was turning our faces pink and the dog was barking, sniffing, and leaving his mark.  As often happens this time of year, our conversation turned to standardized testing.

My son is in sixth grade now, refused in third, took it in fourth and fifth.  (He is refusing it this year.)   Our conversation included my rants about Pearson and his questioning why everyone doesn’t just refuse it.

Why can’t adults think like kids?!   Highlight from my son’s mouth:

“No one really thought [PARCC] through.  I mean they didn’t even think about what the name says spelled backwards.”



What if…?

Trying out some poetry in preparation for our poetry writing unit:


What if there was no CCRAP test? 

I might get to teach students what they need,

without the pressure of this test

in the background of my mind.

What if my worth as an educator

wasn’t decided by a standardized test?

I could stress less, smile more.

I could make a bigger difference.

What if there was no CCRAP test? 

I would not be sitting here dreading going to school

Dreading the next few weeks of testing

And everything that goes along with it.

What if educators made the decisions?

There would be no CCRAP test.

One smile…


Day one of PARCC. (Although I do believe that the reverse of the acronym is more accurate…)

I went in to this trying not to stress about things I can’t  control.

I know that a standardized test can’t  show everything these kids have learned already this year.  While I can opt out my son, I have to administer this to my students.

I can just repeat, “Try your best.”  Hoping that taking this test will not reverse all of the confidence building  we have done this year.

Twenty minutes trying to sign in and all of the computers, with the exception of two, are still loading…I can only think, “I must have done something  wrong.  What did I miss?!”  But my mind is blank.

The kids are silently waiting.  “What did I do wrong?” I remember nothing… I can feel everything  crumbling.  The tears are coming. Then, I look at the blond cutie to my left…

She gave me this goofy smile and I couldn’t  help but smile back. 🙂 The tears didn’t  come.  My brain started working.  I went into problem solving  mode and found a solution.

I think she knew I was loosing it…but I don’t  think she could possibly  know how much that goofy smile changed my day?  Sometimes the students become the teacher.  She reminded me of everything I know.

I know that I come to work everyday because of these amazing, intelligent, creative children.

I know that a standardized test can’t  show everything these kids have learned already this year.