Keith Shaffer

Published 12:00 am Friday, May 7, 2010

Guest commentary by Keith Shaffer

Tests reflect not only students and schools, but also entire community

When a public school administrator uses a Biblical principle to make a point, it often causes shock waves. The Biblical point I would make, however, comes from I Timothy in which the writer declares, (paraphrased) “Study to show thyself approved, a workman needs not be ashamed, rightly dividing the truth.”

Our students and our families need to be aware that the high stakes tests, MCT2, will be administered next week, May 11-13. All students in grades 3-8 will take the Language Arts/Reading test on Tuesday, Language Arts/Writing test on Wednesday, and Mathematics test on Thursday.  

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State testing for students should be a community event.  Although, motivation to do well comes primarily from within the individual child, each child should be prepared and encouraged by teachers to “Show what you know!”  Motivation and encouragement must also come from home with parents and significant other adults having high expectations for students to perform their very best. This assistance from home should include appropriate preparation for the days of testing. Adequate rest and a relatively stress-free environment are extremely important.  A further source of help should come from our community and church leaders. Pastors should take the opportunity this Sunday to remind our students to put forth their best efforts during testing next week.

Motivation comes in different forms for different children at different ages. Parents, teachers, Sunday school teachers, relatives, and civic leaders all have opportunities to encourage and help motivate our students to do their best.  

As our students and schools are measured by the results of the high-stakes tests next week, our community is measured as well.  Let’s all take every opportunity to put state testing on the forefront next week.