I write as an educator of our future Maine educators and a mother of a kindergarten student. Standardized test scores can hold some credibility to create data of the academic Maine learners; however, they actually best create a narrow scope of each learner that does more harm than good to those learners and the teachers, support staff and schools as a whole that are trying to help them grow into resilient community members.

Standardized tests don’t measure the determination and resilience students show every day they show up to the class that is hardest, but they are still willing to try again. They don’t measure the work ethic of my high school students who are not just working in the classroom but working on the field, in the theater, in the community, and at their one or more jobs to financially support themselves.

Public education was created for people to improve their lives and society through the use of reason. It was thought that if people could critically think then they would be able to find rational solutions for problems. Schools were viewed as an agency for making a better society. No standardized test will ever show the growth of a problem-solving mind. Creative thinking, problem-solving skills and proper social skills matter so much more than a national test score. That’s where the focus should be when critiquing Maine public schools.

Meghan Stubbs

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