The Testing Barrier – 1

One might ask right about now, “Who has time to read the recent barrage of articles and comments on authentic assessement? I’m too busy!”

I would ask, “Who can risk not reading them?” Why?

Because we are sleeping and need to wake up!

We just spent, some of us, almost twenty years studying this Krashen and Ray stuff and then we come to a final barrier to fully getting this way of teaching up and running and humming in our classrooms (it’s the testing barrier) and we just fall asleep, standing right at the barrier, unable to get our feet to take us up and over it. Asleep at the barrier, leaning forward on the concrete hurdle like fools.

It reminds me of how before 1760 we were a sleepy and oppressed group of colonies who accepted English law and oppression without much thinking about it. But then in about 1760 people started writing inexpensive pamphlets which became the galvanizing medium of their day. The pamphlets addressed the most fundamental concerns of politics of the day: the nature of power, liberty, rights and constitutions, etc.

Plain old farmers (John Dickinson’s Letters from a Farmer in Pennsylvania) and future Presidents (Thomas Jefferson) wrote. The most significant one of course was Thomas Paine’s Common Sense. We need to get a little common sense going in the way we assess our kids, something that aligns with the research and not a broken model handed down to us from the dinosaurs!

Through the pamphlets we got the idea that we didn’t have to be a sleepy oppressed nation. We realized that we could govern ourselves in a world where only despots ruled from Japan and China to the great oppressors of the world in the form of the European kings and Czarinas and all of those crushing forms of government that had such a brutal effect on people living closer to the equatorial zones.




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