This image may be old, but it still defines my work as a teacher today.
We are living in a time when assessment, learning, and teaching in our public schools is about measuring, quantifying, weighing, sorting, speeding things up, and labeling who is worthy, and who is to blame. Learners and teachers are living in a time of great damage. Where is the hope in this assessment game of blame? I am not seeing it.
Assessment should be not your gate, but the path forward, and teacher and student should walk that path together, for we are in it together. Assessment should be about blame, but about hope. They have turned assessment into a game of numbers. A game of winners and losers, and if you accept their own data than surely you can see they are losing.
I reject this shame and blame game. I see a path to hope not in their data, but on the faces of those I teach. The data that matters to me? Living and feeling learners who only request to their teachers is to guide them, walk a little with them and help them see more in themselves.
Children are more than test scores, teachers are more than data machines, and hope lives somewhere between the journeys taken together.
Dr. Jesse P. Turner
CCSU Literacy Center Director