Standardized tests just got schooled.
Who remembers the terror of taking those once-size-fits-all exams as a kid? I still remember starting a standardized test, thinking, “Now they’ll all know how stupid I truly am.”
And while it seems the tests haven’t changed much over the years, kids at the Barrowford Primary School in the U.K. have been taught not to dread the results of their standardized test scores. After completing an exam called KS2 – which is designed to measure math, reading, spelling, punctuation, and grammar abilities – the students received an inspiring letter from their school.
One proud mom, Alison Owen, shared the letter via Facebook – and it’s since gone viral.
Please find enclosed your end of KS2 test results. We are very proud of you as you demonstrated huge amounts of commitment and tried your very best during this tricky week.
However, we are concerned that these tests do not always assess all of what it is that make each of you special and unique. The people who create these tests and score them do not know each of you… the way your teachers do, the way I hope to, and certainly not the way your families do.
They do not know that many of you speak two languages. They do not know that you can play a musical instrument or that you can dance or paint a picture.
They do not know that your friends count on you to be there for them or that your laughter can brighten the dreariest day. They do not know that you write poetry or songs, play or participate in sports, wonder about the future, or that sometimes you take care of your little brother or sister after school.
They do not know that you have travelled to a really neat place or that you know how to tell a great story or that you really love spending time with special family members and friends.
They do not know that you can be trustworthy, kind or thoughtful, and that you try, every day, to be your very best… the scores you get will tell you something, but they will not tell you everything.
So enjoy your results and be very proud of these but remember there are many ways of being smart.
What a great letter! Not everyone’s strength is — or should be — excelling under pressure. Not only that, but being smart is such a relative term and dependant upon so many environmental factors.
While reading, writing and arithmetic are truly important, building a child’s self esteem and confidence is just as critical. Bravo to this school!