"The whole people must take upon themselves the education of the whole people and be willing to bear the expenses of it. There should not be a district of one mile square, without a school in it, not founded by a charitable individual, but maintained at the public expense of the people themselves." -- John Adams

"No money shall be drawn from the treasury, for the benefit of any religious or theological institution." -- Indiana Constitution Article 1, Section 6.

"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilisation, it expects what never was and never will be...nor can they be safe with them without information. Where the press is free and every man able to read, all is safe." – Thomas Jefferson

Thursday, April 17, 2008

State Testing

State Testing

State testing.
"learning disabled"
Twelve year olds
Drumming fingers,
Panicked eyes searching,
Hoping concentrating on shapes of letters
Will bring eurekas 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 a twelve year old's eyes.

— Glenda Puett
a teacher's note

Read the Declaration of Independence From High Stakes Testing

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1 comment:

Meg said...

I don't know what to say...I feel so sad and at the same time I want to roll that poem into a tight little roll and stick it up the nose of certain legislators.