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Teacher Behaviors Guided By Standardized Testing Can Harm A Child's Self-Esteem

How would a teacher react to a child that was allowed to opt out of the state test? I am sure a majority would be fair and equitable in their response. However, test pressures can impact a teacher or administrator to punish a child for exercising their right to opt out. Here are some examples of behaviors that happened locally.

Kids who opted out were made to sit for the test. One teacher handed out tootsie rolls to students taking the test and informed the non-test-taker the candy was only for students who took the test. Another district informed students that not taking the test was wrong. Also, children were given take home work for not sitting for a test. Some have suggested that punishments were given as a consequence for not taking a test by some teachers, however, I could not confirm for this story.

Why would teachers do this to a child? Well, in my mind, if I was in a school in need of improvement and a child who was a guaranteed 3 or 4 opted out, I could see the teacher might be frustrated about how that impacts his/her performance evaluation. It might be possible that resentment could be a problem when a teacher feels frustration from the pressures of high stakes testing.

Do you have a story to share about your child? Please feel free to share in the comments section.

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