Five weeks ago, I returned to the classroom as a 4th and 5th grade teacher at a Charter School in Indianapolis, after more than 25 years away from teaching in an urban setting. My decision has proved to be a wonderful and challenging experience. I have a very special group of students, many of whom were deemed to have been unsuccessful in other schools throughout the city. I believe that the school’s philosophy of “education for all” is not only a powerful statement but lived out daily as we work to help children succeed where others have failed.
During these first weeks, I was quickly thrust into the preparation for and then taking of the ISTEP test. While I believe that teachers and schools should be held to the highest standards of accountability, I was disappointed by the extremely poor quality of the test used to measure Indiana’s children as well as the incredible amount of pressure we as a society have placed on children, families and young teachers. I honestly question whether the brilliant leaders in our State have looked at the actual test being used and whether they could pass the very same exam being given to our children.
Posted on Indy Star 3/14/10