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Posts Tagged ‘#EOGs’

A kid’s take on end-of-grade testing

In Tangents on June 2, 2014 at 9:25 am

photo-1Last year, my girl came home from school grumbling about the End-of-Grade testing that she andher fellow sixth-graders were enduring.

I suggested that she write a letter about it. “No one will listen to me,” she said. “I’m just a kid.” I told her the education decision-makers might listen more to her than they would to a grownup; this seemed to light a fire under her, and she nearly ran up the stairs to the computer.

This is the letter she wrote, which was sent to Arne Duncan, US Sec. of Education, and June Atkinson, State Superintendent of Education for NC.  She got replies from both eventually, which we both appreciated, but neither reply was something a kid could get very fired up about.

After listening to her lament EOGs again these past few days, I thought about her letter and decided to pass it along; I’m proud of her for taking the time to share her thoughts with education officials. I may have offered some proofreading help, but I didn’t edit what she said.

I’m impressed by the growing opt-out movements around the country; I was not yet prepared to take that step, but I will be paying close attention and giving it more thought.

Dear Reader,

First of all, I would like to thank you for your time. I have written you today because I don’t believe in the End-of-Grade tests we are forced to take. I beg you to read on, because I have some important opinions and point of views that I would like to voice. I know that other fellow students at my middle school feel the same way about the EOGs.

To start off, the EOGs cause a lot of stress for not just students but teachers. I heard one of my teachers say a couple weeks ago that she had to anticipate our EOG scores. Think of the stress that puts on our teachers. Also the immense pressure on us— will we get 3s, or 4s, and more importantly, will we pass them? You can almost see the stress hanging in the air in one giant cloud.

Also, most of us are already take 2 to 3 benchmarks for each of the 4 core subjects, excluding science. Couldn’t the officials average out the scores from those tests and use that as the basis as to whether we go to the next grade? It’s not like we’re the ones going off to college. Do you really need to measure whether we’re smart enough to go on to the next grade to drop on us a whopping 8 hours total of testing in a week?!

Even if you didn’t diminish the tests, why do you make 3rd graders take EOGs? They’re young and innocent. How would you feel in their shoes? Overwhelmed? Stressed out? Confused? Well, that’s how I felt in 3rd grade just 3 short years ago. Yup, still remember it. Wouldn’t you hate having to do that? If you don’t take them away from us in middle school, at least spare our young, new generation of 3rd, 4th and 5th graders.

Also another point to consider, it’s not like going to 7th grade is a major step in our life like going off to college. I can understand the SATs because turning 18 basically means that you’re a grown-up now. College takes careful examination. Seventh grade doesn’t. It’s just gonna be the same school, same friends and people, just different teachers.

My last point is that our accomplishments can be measured in other ways. My English teacher gives us a quiz/test on everything we learn. My math, History, and Science teachers give unit tests. Couldn’t those, as well as the Benchmarks, be an alternative way to measure our accomplishments? My point is, don’t we already take enough tests? Don’t you feel this way about tests or obstacles in your own life? Frustrated? Fed up? Well, that’s how we feel, too.

I hope you, reader, will take these points into very careful consideration. You just have to put yourself in our shoes to understand what it is like. You can change this… I can just motivate you. Oh, and I’d be willing to take a survey if need be.

Signed,

{We put her name on the actual letters, but for privacy’s sake, I’ll just call her a “A fed-up sixth-grader”… who has since become a fed-up 7th-grader.}

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