Standardized. One word I hate more than any other. A word that encompasses conformity, and generality. I find myself sitting in an English 11 class, a place where I’m supposed to be learning about life through intricate characters and their experiences. Yet I am being lectured about distinguishing between verse and prose. English is for learning about ourselves through characters, learning profound and everlasting ideas that can teach us about life and its challenges. In my opinion, English is the most important class in school. It makes students take a step back and ponder big ideas with real world applications.
So, when I was told that my classmates, my teachers, my school, that I would be evaluated and scored based on how well I could compare and contrast sources on the topic of poetry’s relevance in modern day society, I was ANGRY! In fact, I was so enraged at the irrelevance of the topic that I decided to write my essay on the idiocy of standardized testing rather than the modern day relevance of poetry.
Considering this was still in fact, a standardized test, I made absolutely sure that my “essay” had a strongly formulated and clear thesis statement which was then explained throughout the body paragraphs and backed with factual and cited evidence to support my claims. If I was going to put Smarter Balanced Consortium on blast, I was going to do it in basic five paragraph essay format.
Technically, I cannot legally tell you the contents of my essay, but I can tell you this. The Smarter Balanced test is a waste of educational time that is both irrelevant, and unrealistic. As the nation continues to base staff effectiveness on the Smarter Balanced Test, I will continue to protest its relevance. Employing standardized tests to determine a student’s intelligence is like trying to measure the temperature of a room with a tablespoon — it is simply the wrong tool for the task. We should consider education not as a contest, but as a collaborative experience that teaches students about the real world, and their place in it.