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Re: hypocritical? necessary?



At 07:46 PM 3/4/2002 -0500, Teresa Glenn wrote:
I know many of the discussions on this list are a
little more theoretical than this, but I'm curious what those of you who are
teachers do-- how do you reconcile your feelings with the actions you must
perform?

Teresa:

This question has been on my mind for months. And I've really had to
wrestle with it in the last few weeks, since a colleague asked, "Are you
going to give the test?"

I don't like giving the test, but what I like is not the most important
issue. I think the key question for me is: what is most supportive of my
students (who of course vary tremendously in their ability to cope with the
test)?

After seeing what the testing did to my students last year, I made up my
mind not to give the test again. My students trust me to do the best thing
for them, and that's my obligation, no matter what the cost to me and my
family.

If the district or the state decided to really push the issue, the cost to
my family could be pretty high. I have enough retirement savings that we
wouldn't lose our home, but we couldn't afford the medical care our
children need.

Ironically, thinking about my current students has persuaded me that I
can't simply absent myself from class for the week of testing. The test is
so brutal to second-graders (even though there are no personal high stakes
for them) that I can't abandon them for the sake of a principle.

I don't see a way out of this dilemma, because whatever I do they are
subject to the tests. The best idea I've had so far is to write an article
for the local paper on why I will give the test. The article will be an
opportunity to tell what's wrong with the whole testing system and to
inform parents of their right to opt out. I don't have to test the children
who opt out. And if enough choose to do so, maybe that will help to end the
whole STAR system.

George Sheridan

Rita Mae Brown wrote, "The reward for conformity was that everyone liked
you except yourself."

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