Results 1 to 2 of 2

Thread: Poet stumped by standardized test questions about her own poem

  1. #1

    Poet stumped by standardized test questions about her own poem


    Poet Sara Holbrook, who often writes humorous verse for kids, had some harsh words for the Texas Education Agency after she discovered she couldn't answer questions about poems on the its standardized tests ó poems she herself wrote.

    In an essay for the Huffington Post, Holbrook wrote that she felt like "such a dunce" after she didn't know the answers to questions posed on the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) tests about her poems ó "A Real Case" and "Midnight" ó meant for seventh- and eighth-grade students.

    "These test questions were just made up, and tragically, incomprehensibly, kidsí futures and the evaluations of their teachers will be based on their ability to guess the so-called correct answer to made up questions," Holbrook wrote.

    Holbrook highlighted a number of questions from the tests, including one that asked students why she rendered one line in a poem in all capital letters. Students are asked to choose between four lettered options.

    "Could be A. All caps is a way to highlight a fact, right?" Holbrook wrote. "I guess I wanted to stress the fact that the feeling belongs to TODAY, but maybe the answer is B. Letís see, today is not tomorrow, could be that. But climbing into the test makerís mind, Iím guessing they want the answer C. ... Not sure. Move on, lots to cover."

    Holbrook argues that asking students to dissect poems isn't an effective way to teach them about the joys of literature.

    "Teachers are also trying to survive as they are tasked with teaching kids how to take these tests, which they do by digging through past tests, posted online," she wrote. "Forget joy of language and the fun of discovery in poetry, this is line-by-line dissection, painful and delivered without anesthetic."

    Texas' STAAR tests are administered in part by Pearson Assessments, a testing company that Holbrook called a "sadistic behemoth."

    Holbrook wrote that asking students to guess an author's intent in writing a piece of literature is doomed to be a pointless exercise.

    "My final reflection is this: any test that questions the motivations of the author without asking the author is a big baloney sandwich," she wrote. "Mostly test makers do this to dead people who canít protest. But Iím not dead. I protest."

  2. Remove this section of ads by registering.
  3. #2
    I would have to think that if Holbrook went to school, she would have had to decide what the author was saying. This futile exercise has been part of the English curriculum for many many years.

Similar Threads

  1. OUTRAGEOUS 8th Grader Suspended for Informing Classmates of Standardized Test 'Opt-Out
    By aGameOfThrones in forum Individual Rights Violations: Case Studies
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 03-03-2015, 12:36 AM
  2. Disabled, Dying Child MUST Take Standardized Test
    By DamianTV in forum U.S. Political News
    Replies: 29
    Last Post: 02-09-2014, 09:07 PM
  3. Afghanistan Experts Stumped By Simple Questions
    By TaftFan in forum World News & Affairs
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: 12-13-2013, 02:10 PM
  4. Teacher boycott of standardized test in Seattle spreads
    By tangent4ronpaul in forum U.S. Political News
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 01-27-2013, 06:19 AM
  5. New Hampshire Poem Topic: Write a poem about the primary
    By Korey Kaczynski in forum New Hampshire
    Replies: 13
    Last Post: 01-09-2008, 12:34 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts