Doing what you know is right!

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I know that teachers wake up every morning wanting to do what is best for their kids.  Isn’t that why we are in this business?  To make a difference?  Teachers understand the whole picture:  students need to communicate, collaborate, and build character in order to be productive citizens in society.  So why is it that we’ve allowed the “top-down” pressures of STAAR to impact our choices?  For example, in the secondary classroom, why are we ONLY teaching writing at grade 7, or ONLY teaching reading at grade 8, or ONLY teaching tested writing genres in grades 9 & 10?  We have started teaching to the needs of the test rather than teaching to the needs of our students.

If this epidemic continues, how will our students ever be prepared for the next grade level, college, and life?  I do understand the pressures of STAAR as I’ve prepared my own students and administered the test the past two years.  But I have to believe we are all in the business of doing what is best for students.  If that is the case, is it not equally important to teach students how to research (even though it isn’t tested) or to teach them literary analysis (even though it isn’t a tested writing genre)?  Isn’t it time we stand up and make the choice to do what’s best for students and in turn, hope for positive changes in the data?

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