Soon, I’ll be able to attempt some estimate of a final tally. I’m pretty sure nearly one-tenth of my year has been sacrificed to standardized testing or testing created by outsiders based on a curriculum that matches none of my student’s actual learning levels. Test after incomprehensible test, I hacked away at my students’ self-esteem.* They failed. We met at McDonalds on Saturdays and they retook tests. They retook tests after school and before school. Tests, tests, tests. Retake by retake, a number of them worked to salvage grades. Others did not, however. Others just took their punches and went down without a fight.
The year is ending and I echo the sentiment of a great man from America’s past:
Hear me, my chiefs! I am tired. My heart is sick and sad. From where the sun now stands, I will fight no more forever.