Among the horror stories of teachers and local school administrators who intimidate, lie to, and bully their students are stories like this one. Rusdon Ray shared the following letter that his young son received from his teacher. According to Mr. Ray, "This letter was written by his good teacher who clearly recognizes and is doing her best to combat the psychological damage to her students by too much high stakes testing in schools with tests such as the AZ Merit. You can feel the love and concern this teacher has for her 3rd grade students and her desire to help them even though teachers’ hands have been tied. Take a moment and read it."
This week you will take your AZMerit test for reading, writing, and math, and in a few weeks after that you will take your IOWA test. I know how hard you have worked, but there is something very important you must know.
The AzMerit and IOWA tests do not assess all of what makes you special and unique. The people who create these tests and score them do not know each of you like I do, and certainly not the way your families do.
They do not know that some of you speak two languages, or that you love to sing or draw. They have never seen your natural talent for dancing. They do not know that your friends count on you to be there for them, and that your laughter can brighten the darkest day, or that your face turns red when you feel shy. They do not know that you participate in sports, wonder about the future, or sometimes you help your little brother or sister after school. They do not know that you are kind, trustworthy, and thoughtful…and every day you try to be your very best.
The scores that you will get from these tests will tell you some things, but they will not tell you everything. These tests do not define you. There are many ways of being smart, and YOU are smart! You are enough! You are the light that brightens my day and the reason I am happy to come to work each day. So, in the midst of all of these tests, remember there is no way to "test" all of the amazing and awesome things that make you, YOU.
All I ask is that you do your personal best and do not give up. You have been working for this since Kindergarten, and you are ready! I believe in you!