How do we measure achievement?  Let me count the absurdity of our ways...

How do we measure achievement? Let me count the absurdity of our ways…

Standardized Test
Dedicated to teachers everywhere oppressed by asinine accountability and the sterility of standardization.
(Drafted while administering the CAAP achievement test to a section of English 1002 at Louisiana State University Eunice, October 2013)

This day I gave a test in English 1002.
A test standardized
and normalized
to be analyzed
(or scandalized?)
by researchers and administrators
and data freaks
to prove students
can read and write
(or not).

Watching students take a standardized is boring, like…
watching paint dry
or grass grow
or youth darkening hundreds of tiny ovals with dull pencils.

Wherefore, O truth, art thou hidden
in this tangled morass of t-scores and standard deviations?
Shall we propose a rebellion, then? May we give a test
not standardized, but substandardized?
not normalized, but abnormalized?
A test meant to prove nothing
but that time and boredom passes
as we blow a 50 minute class period to smithereens
to appease high-seated bureaucrats and scholastic beancounters.

Should we rather write sonnets,
lifting elegant songs with truth and meaning,
spun by youthful fancy?
I say, “Yay.”