When she reaches the question about the purpose of the poem’s two stanzas, she stops short. None of the answers make sense, but she should know which one is right. After all, she is the poet.
Author, poet and educator Sara Holbrook describes feeling exactly like this after discovering her own poems used in a Texas state assessment test for junior high students in her article published in the Huffington Post Jan. 5, 2017.
Holbrook’s article points out the flaws in the testing system, like the for-profit motives that influence test makers, that drives education toward test-taking skills rather than life-living knowledge.
She also references a study from Christopher Tienken and his colleagues that predicts the outcomes of standardized tests using family and community demographic data, which basically defeats the accountability purpose of state testing with an algorithm.
To conclude her article, Holbrook states, “My final reflection is this: any test that questions the motivations of the author without asking the author is a big baloney sandwich. Mostly test makers do this to dead people who can’t protest. But I’m not dead.
After reading her analysis of state testing, one cannot help but join her in protest. This system is crippling education and diminishing students’ chances to fall in love with learning.