In appreciation of C.’s patience

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He just got here from another country. He speaks almost no English. I was forced to make him take the same English-language standardized test as everyone else with no translation or even extra time allowed. I was told extra time had to be asked for in advance. We checked on test day just to make sure there was no extra time. That time might have benefited a few students whose English is improving. For C., more time would have been irrelevant I suspect. If you can’t read the test, more time to be unable to read the test does not do a whole hell of a lot of good. I reassured C. that the test would not affect his actual grades, told him I was not allowed to translate for him due to the test rules and cut him loose. I want to give C. credit. He did his best. He was minimally disruptive, despite a few complaints about the kid behind him touching his chair. Spending a whole morning doing something you don’t understand for reasons that are unclear to you has be very tough and this is an energetic kid. I have to remember to sit down and thank him for his effort on Monday.

Eduhonesty: America is filled with new immigrants taking these school and state tests despite the fact that their total English-language vocabulary is often less than 1,000 words, sometimes much less. Testing these kids on materials that they can’t read is purest stupidity. We wallop the kid, adding to his or her sense of hopelessness, and learn nothing for our efforts.