To Comfort The Afflicted
And Afflict The Comfortable

To Comfort The Afflicted And Afflict The Comfortable

Saturday, December 5, 2020

#GivingTuesday                               Observercast

An Open Letter To Gov. Fallin

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BY SHARON MARTIN

 We understand that you don’t have much respect for teachers. If you did, there would be no need for teachers to march. You don’t seem to understand why education is so important, either, judging from your recent remarks. Seriously, testing time is no more important than any other time of the year unless you have bought into the corporate lies about million-dollar testing programs.

Testing can tell you about a district’s socioeconomic status. Test scores can tell you if a student is good at taking tests. Tests measure confidence, decoding skills, and vocabulary. Alas, they don’t really measure math skills. A math whiz with dyslexia is just out of luck. I know, because I’ve given tests every year of my teaching life.

Tests do not measure creativity. They don’t measure tenacity. They don’t say one thing about what a child has gone through to get where he or she is. They might measure growth, but if it starts from nothing and gets to somewhere less than superior, it doesn’t seem to count.

Testing money would be so much better spent on libraries and librarians, math labs, and field trips.

One more thing: it is hard to take criticism from someone whose fiscal policies created the situation. You can’t cut taxes and starve services and expect golden results.

All public employees in Oklahoma need you and your party to step up, take responsibility, and find solutions to the mess you have created.

Sharon Martin lives in Oilton, OK and is a regular contributor to The Oklahoma Observer. Her latest book, Not A Prodigal, is available through Barnes and Noble. Her recent children’s book, Froggy Bottom Blues, can be purchased in hardcover or paperback from Doodle and Peck Publishingand in paperback from Amazon.