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The Trials of Testing

Testing week just wrapped up in the Washington, D.C., public schools, an experience that convinced Mr. Potter of Harry Potter and the Urban School Nightmare that, “the real problem with education reform is not the kids, it's the adults.”

Among the events that transpired: school administrators decided that 10th graders at the school would do math and reading prep all day, every day for the entire month of April; a parent sent allowed her kid to go on a two-week vacation right in the middle of the semester; and a BBQ that was promised to students as a reward for their hard work was put on hold indefinitely without explanation.

The most heartbreaking part of this whole thing was watching how hard my students worked on that test. They all tried their hearts out and put forth a lot of effort. I'm very proud of them … It makes me so sad when I think about all of the ways that incompetent adults—either purposefully or through their own ineptitude—stop them from really succeeding.
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