A Testing Time for All of Us

‘Tis another year of testing, and all through the land
Ev’ry creature is stirring, it’s quite out of hand;
The mockings they’re flung with nary a care,
Of whether they’re valid, or whether they’re fair.

The children, mere pawns in this high-stakes game;
Are still not Proficient, the tests are to blame.
They take too much time, they cost too much money,
In our ass they’re a pain, don’t laugh, it’s not funny.

More rapid than eagles, like vultures they came.
And they whistled, and shouted, decried each test by name.
Now SAT, now ACT, now LSAT and the Bar,
Bye MCAS, bye MAP-Growth, you too, STAR and STAAR.
Whether exam school or college, law school, or profession.
We must now put an end to all test-based admissions.
Now dash away, dash away, dash away all,
GPA and open enrollment will fill our campuses next fall.

We’ll call testing racist, we’ll make such a clatter,
Our evidence is shaky, but you know it won’t matter.
You’ll stop high-stakes testing, and do so in a flash,
Blend fear with white guilt, no decision’s too rash.

The Standards must go too, you don’t have a choice,
They reflect dominant culture in academic passive voice.
This is our moment, our time is here.
Our argument’s garbled, but our message is clear.
Good ol’ boys like Sireci were easy to handle,
Ignore UMASS now… and just wait for the scandal.

But let’s pause for a moment, take a breath, take a rest.
Tests and testing are gone, OK, what comes next?
Without high-stakes testing, the question it begs;
Are tests really the chicken or just scrambled eggs?

Testing policy is fraught, of that I am sure,
But I’m equally certain it’s part of the cure.
Let’s start with more funding that’s properly spent.
We’ll need measured measures to see where it went.

Curriculum, instruction, the whole infrastructure;
It all needs reworking to better sustain culture.
Make the changes, start anew, but what happens then?
Without testing and eval., we’re back here again.
Improve tests and testing; but they’re not the villain;
I don’t have all the answers, but to try I am willin’.

Weekly posts that are droll, that is my goal,
But I’m male and I’m old, hair and skin white as snow;
Chubby and plump, oh that would be nice.
I say what I think, despite good advice.
Answering questions not asked, opinions I’ve given,
To entertain and inform, I’ve always been driven.
A wink of an eye or a nod of your head,
My desired reaction to the words you have read;

So weekly I share, mostly prose and this rhyme,
And know all won’t agree, all of the time.
These issues aren’t easy, the hard makes it great;
Challenge met if my words give you pause, stir debate.

But, ‘tis the season for good will and cheer;
The days getting brighter, another new year.
To whom it applies, Happy Christmas to you!
And to one and all, a most blessed twenty-two.

Header image by Mesym on Pixabay.

Published by Charlie DePascale

Charlie DePascale is an educational consultant specializing in the area of large-scale educational assessment. When absolutely necessary, he is a psychometrician. The ideas expressed in these posts are his (at least at the time they were written), and are not intended to reflect the views of any organizations with which he is affiliated personally or professionally..

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