Monday, May 10, 2010

Oh, the Irony! MI-Access Testing

Twice a year, my children take a computerized standardized test now, the MI-Access test, which is supposed to assess writing skills. The computer does the grading. That is why we got such a kick out of my graduating senior's essay. The computer gave him a 5.9 out of 6.0. The prompt asked students to write an essay explaining why a foreign exchange student should pick their school. (Reproduced with my son's permission.)

A good education is the basis of our entire system.  Without a proper education it is impossible for students to grow into proper and successful adults.   Our economy relies on highly skilled individuals capable of doing the work in which they are employed.  If we ignore their education we will ignore our future as well.  Community High School has a different way to go about this idea.  We at Community not only focus on a full education but we care about each individual student as well.   It is necessary to care about each student and not just their test scores, on a test in which little can be taken away about their true intellect.  A standardized test ignores the fact that the student may have started with less knowledge and actually learned more than a kid who scores higher on the test.  When we give our kids numbers we ignore the individual and we take away from their potential.  Community High is the best suited school for educating kids because it does not ignore the individual and allows each kid to succeed.
Standardized testing does help colleges know whom they are accepting and what they understand.  This does not mean that a high school should follow the same method.  We begin to punish those who do not make the benchmarks and in turn we allow them to fail more.  Here at community we try our hardest to stay away from standardized testing.  Sometimes we are required to take a test, although it is insufficient at allowing us to help kids.  Computers only work with numbers, so we are forced to number our children and students so they can fit into our current mold of education.  I do not want to be a number, but to take this test each student had to write their student identification number.  Community asks students to use identification numbers and it sees each one as an individual.  All foreign exchange students should know, going to a different school will allow them to be a number, going to community will let them be a person.          
Thomas Jefferson once said, "Every generation needs a revolution".  He could not be more correct.  The time has come for our society to revolt.   The computer reading my test has no idea how ignorant I believe we as a society have become.  To think that a student from a poorer, less educated background should hurt his or schools funding by scoring low on the test is not only inaccurate but also an insult to humankind.  The schools we should give the most funding to should be the ones who score the worst.  If a student is not educated, taking away their funding does not help them.  Community High can be the next revolution.  Come to this school and experience what learning truly feels like.  Thomas Jefferson not only would support it but also would know how necessary it truly is.          
There are thousands of students taking this test at the same time.  It could be argued that we must sometimes allow less analysis of each individual to expedite the process and allow more students to be tested and understood.  This idea will be the downfall of our society.  People will become a part of the machine and if those in charge were at the bottom looking up they might not think this so called reform truly betters our nation.  America has the potential to allow millions to be extremely educated and for all to have a job, and a future.  Instead we have chosen the same route Darth Vader did, the dark side.  We do not care about the individual, just money and power.  Maybe we can do our younger generation right, just like Darth Vader redeemed himself by saving Luke.  It may seem too farfetched but the time of our revolution has come.  Community High knows this, and it teaches kids to be the next great leaders of our revolution.           
Community High School will one day be seen as the only practical school in the district.  Every student, parent and teacher should want to come hear because if needs to be known, this computer will not keep us quite.  Whether the grade is a one or a six it is irrelevant because community has taught me one truly great thing.  Actions can be forced, whether by the district, the state or the country but thoughts cannot be controlled.  Community allows students to develop their thoughts and know that this test means less than nothing.  This test is trying to destroy our society and it is our job to win it back.  Fight The Power.


  1. Love it! Rage against the machine, but properly punctuated and spelled. (I wonder what the 0.1 ding was for.)

  2. I think, because it is written on the fly, they are not supposed to deduct for spelling and punctuation mistakes (there are a few). I did wonder how the computer decides what is good grammar, and also how a name of a school like Community could be misunderstood as referring to a community...