Friday, March 06, 2009

Doing Time

I know I complain about this every time state testing rolls around, but they really do carve out way too much time for the students to take these tests. These things only take a couple of hours, but the time allotted is nearly triple that. It’s no wonder why the kids bring pillows or even sleeping masks. Hours just pass by, and they just sit there. I can’t blame them. The only thing they’re allowed to do is leisure read, and who wants to do that after a test? They have to feel like they’re in prison with its windowless, cinderblock walls. I think I even saw one of the kids carving tallies into one of them during hour four of testing.

I wonder if all this time the kids have after these tests is having a negative impact on them—like criminals who have been incarcerated for so long that when they are released they can’t adjust to the new life. Some find it so hard that they commit crimes, so they can get back to the life they once found comfortable. I can just see them failing on purpose, so that they can take this exit level test yet another year and everything feels normal.

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