Why do I care?

Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, United States
I have worked with children and in public schools for 41 years. I am committed to do everything I can do to help every child have an excellent public school education. I am also committed to the common good of the people of Oklahoma

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

testing, testing, testing

Testing, testing, testing.  We are testing at school, last week and this.  It's an easy experience for some...and heart wrenching for others.  As I give tests to learning disabled students, I feel like I am torturing them.  .  It makes me furious that all their frustration is set up not to help them, but to "hold schools accountable".   Testing is out of control and the horizon holds further horrors.  I believe in the adage "first do no harm"...and I am forced to do the opposite.
Here is a poem I wrote a few years ago.  It breaks my heart that it still describes 2014

State Testing

State testing

“learning disabled”

Twelve year olds

Drumming fingers,

Panicked eyes searching,


Hoping concentrating on shapes of letters

Will bring eurikas to their confusion.

Squeezing foreheads

As if answers will ooze through their arms

To tools

Of pencils ready and oh so willing to answer


Questions which reflect paragraphs

Made of words, mysterious symbols

Created to measure the worth of a twelve year old mind

If only reading were possible.

State testing

“Learning disabled”

twelve year old terrified to admit

His confusion.

Two hours trying to

Fill in bubbles slowly

As if to make the effort would create success.

Each minute sinking deeper into

The despair of self loathing.

The garble on the pages pointing their

Defiant arrows toward his inward

Feeling of stupidity

If only he could read.


“learning disabled”


Like everything would come together

If effort prevailed.

Twelve year olds



Even the president says it’s possible…

Too bad

That touted belief

Couldn’t heal

The helplessness

In twelve year old’s eyes.                                   glenda puett  4/11/06

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