Letter: Beyond the Test

As we are occupied with important discussions about the value of high stakes testing, educational standards, and Common Core curriculum, I would like to take a moment to remind us of all that cannot be assessed by standardized tests. There are many incredible aspects of our students’ daily lives, from a cross country meet to a harvest in the PTA school garden, that impact who they become and how they contribute to our society. One example is a student’s participation in a drama production. They experience:

– Speaking in front of hundreds of people with confidence, eloquence, and clarity.

– Working as a team with their cast, crew, and directors day in and day out. A variety of skill levels, ages, roles, and responsibilities, that find a way to come together to create something powerful.

– Communicating both verbally and kinesthetically simultaneously. A rarity in our age of social media and Internet-based interactions.

– Interpreting written words on a page and bringing them to life with sound, sets, vocalization, emotion, and beyond. A holistic approach to embracing and understanding literature.

– Imprinting a positive school experience for all students involved. An inspiration to keep exploring and creating.

These are important markers for learning and for success, and will not show up on a multiple-choice test. Let us remember to look at the entire scope of the educational process. Let us support the arts and all that they contribute to fostering well rounded, creative, and motivated students.

Jennifer Daly
Haldane School Board Trustee
Cold Spring

Note: Haldane students will present performances of Our Town on Dec. 6 and 7 at 7 p.m.

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