We start testing on Tuesday. I am just dreading every minute of it. This test will not show the amazing growth the my students have made this year.
Here are a few examples of won't the test won't show:
Student 1 has traumatic brain injury. When he came to me in August he was pretty much a wild child. He ran through class, yelled and pushed others. Academically, he had nothing. Since August has transformed into quite the gentleman. When I greet him in the morning I say "Good morning, how are you?" He responds with "I'm fine thank you and you?" He also raises his hanhe thanks me for giving him work to do and tells me "You are the goodest teacher I ever haded." (the best teacher I ever had) Academically, he now knows almost all of his alphabet letter names and sounds, can decode a level 2 book (no comprehension yet), can identify numbers correctly to 30 and can add and subtract single digit numbers. This student has made an incredible journey in second grade but will just show up as a failure on the test.
Student 2 came from Oaxaca mid year. She has been in several different homes since both of her parents have died. While in Oaxaca, she didn't go to school due to the teacher strike. When she began, she had no English and didn't even have the basic skills in literacy or math in Spanish down. In the past few months this child can respond and act to most of my directions in English, can speak with friends on the playground in limited English and attempts to ask my questions in English. (ie: May I jreenk el agua-ter.... May I drink water?) Academically, she now knows her alphabet and can add and subtract single and double digit numbers without regrouping. That being said, this one will also show up as a failure.
Student 3 started below grade level due to her limited knowledge of English at the beginning of the year. She is really motivated though so she has worked VERY hard this year. In math, she is at the top of the class. In language arts, everything just recently started to come together for her. She decided that she loved A.R. and wanted to challenge herself in A.R. when she saw her computer printou that said she failed a test. She now reads about 10 books a week and then takes the correspoding test on the computer and passes them all, at a beginning of second grade level. This little girl will most likely score in the basic range in reading which is equivalent of a "C" but due to the way California scores these tests, she too will be considered as a failure.
I have many more of these stories but they all come down to about the same thing. My students have so much to celebrate with regard to their growth this year. Sadly this test won't show that. When we are done with testing, I will have to figure out something to do to showcase the talents that they do have so they can truly understand what gains they have made and how proud I am of them.