Shawn L. Bird

Original poetry, commentary, and fiction. All copyrights reserved.

poem-new day again November 20, 2015

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 5:19 pm
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Every day you approach the computer

“What are we doing again?”  I show you where to see the assignment.  I review the expectations, the objectives, the criteria.

“Oh!  Okay!  I get it!” you say, and set to work.

The next day, we do it again.

Today you stare at me with blank, hollow eyes.

“I don’t get it,” you say.

Everyone else is busily working.  You’ve been absent.  When you come, you have to study for a test in another subject.  Or see the counselor.  Or help your friend.  In fourteen hours of research time, you’ve been here for eight.  Do you have anything to show for the time?  Others have the list of the websites they consulted, pages of notes, excitement over how they’ll turn research into a presentation next week.

You have confusion.

The same confusion from the first day. Repeated again.  Some days we can help you.  Some days you are confident and productive.

But nothing stays in your memory more than an hour.

Other days you are sullen and oppositional, because you’re sure  you’ve never seen this before, and you’re angry about it.

“This is stupid.”

What more can I do? I ask.  They tell me your parents refuse to have you tested.  They don’t want you to have a label, so we don’t know if this is a cognitive impairment, learning disability, or the results of drug use or a sports injury.  A label comes with funding to give you the additional support you plainly need.  Keep repeating expectations.  Keep explaining the criteria.  I agree.  This is stupid.

The course is almost over and you return each day to week one,  living a personal Groundhog Day loop,

and no one knows how to pull you out.

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poem- Measuring May 10, 2014

Video with my narration is in the previous post, but here’s the written version:

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Measuring

Shawn L. Bird

This is me.

The standardized test says,

“She’s a C.”

 

But no standardized test

can measure my capacity.

 

The provincial exam or S A T

does not evaluate my reality.

 

A test does not see

    my creativity

       my audacity

          my tenacity

             my congeniality

No test can reveal

                  my totality.

 

They say

a standardized test demands gravity,

but I say,

it is a depravity

to define our youth with such rationality!

 

This is me.

No standardized test can measure

who I will be.

 

 

video poem- Measuring

Here’s a video poem I made for a presentation on issues in standardized testing for my Faculty of Education Master’s class on assessment at University of British Columbia (Okanagan campus) (aka UBC-O).

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