Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Pigeonholed

Last week, Emily had the painful process of taking a standardized test, which is required by our State each year if you homeschool.  It was stressful, but she did pretty well.  She came out above average in reading, language expression, and social science and average in everything else.  

But I had some thoughts about standardized tests.  I'm not sure who came up with the bright idea of these silly things.  They are designed to tell how a student compares with their peers, but to me they just let you know if your child works well under pressure and can take a test well.  I can tell you what they do NOT measure.

They don't show that my daughter is artistic & musical.  She has a very sweet voice and is developing her art.


They don't show how compassionate and kind she is.  She feels things deeply and it hurts her when she sees others being mistreated.




They don't show her merciful side.

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Tests don't mention how persistent she is.  She struggles under pressure and yet, when given time, usually works things out on her own.





They don't measure her humorous side.  She is really quite funny at times.


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There is no mention of her reliability, her loving spirit, her loyalty to her friends, her ability to accomplish something when she puts her mind to it.  All things that will make her a wonderful adult.  What it does say is that if you don't do well, you don't measure up.  You aren't good enough.  You didn't make the cut. 

And that is why I despise standardized testing.

I'm so glad that the Lord doesn't do that to us.  Psalm 139:13-14 says, "You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb.  Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it."  God made us each unique, with different personalities, gifts, talents and desires.  He doesn't pigeonhole us.  He doesn't say we have to be cookie cutters of each other.

He made us wonderfully.  He made us well.  He made us unique.

That is wonderfully encouraging to me and I hope it's encouraging to those of you who are feeling not quite good enough or as if you don't fit into the mold.  You don't have to be like Sally or Jane or Sue.  Be yourself.  Be who God made you to be.  

Celebrate you!


5 comments:

  1. Amen to that! Wonderful post Terri! xxx

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  2. Standardized tests to me measure the things that are required to get a minimum 'education' as defined by the state. I use education within quotes because education and learning are two very different things.

    Education is something that will let you train for a specific job, but learning is life long. The people who put value over a piece of paper vs the actual art of learning are the losers here. And I say that as someone who went to school for two degrees. My education enabled to have a job, my learning enables me to have a life.

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  3. Yes, knowledge isn't our highest goal in life. Godly character is so much more valuable than these other measurements.

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  4. I think that the standardized tests are useful to pinpoint deficits so that remedial work can be undertaken in a timely manner. I would look on the test as a useful diagnostic rather than an incomplete judgement of a student's abilities.

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  5. Amen, Terri! I don't think the tests even measure actual abilities in what they're supposedly testing. It does matter how good you are at taking tests, which is why they spend countless hours at school learning how to fill in tests correctly, when they could actually be learning something useful for their lives! Bleh!

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