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Not the Year for State Testing

Editor, News-Register:

All I keep hearing about this year is the “mental health” of our children. If any policy makers out there are truly listening to the children, and truly considering their mental health, then state testing would not be taking place this year. My daughter is a good student and would do fine on the state test; however, she is constantly fretting over it lately. Being a teacher myself, I told her that I couldn’t agree more. I, too, think it is unfair and unnecessary to test these kids this year. My daughter asked me “Well, who is making these decisions? I want to talk to them!” Right then I came to a decision. I am going to see if my child’s voice CAN actually make a difference in the world. I told her to write me an opinion paper about it. I promised that I would send it to every politician I could think of. Here is what my daughter wrote. Her words exactly.

“To whom it may concern,

“My name is Lydia Dias. I am an eleven-year-old, fifth grade student in an Ohio public school. I strongly believe that the State Test is ridiculous for the school year 2020-2021. My teachers state that the test is just for data but it still is an awful thing to do. You don’t need a rocket-scientist to tell you we haven’t learned as much this year than in previous years.

“Personally I would like to know (who) decided we need a test to prove it, I mean ask anyone they will tell you it’s unnecessary. Yes, we do realize it’s not for a considered ‘grade,’ but that doesn’t take off the pressure. You all will never understand it from a student’s point of view, some see it as a parent (too much homework,) some see it as a teacher (too many papers to grade,) but you will never see it as a child. We are … having sleepless nights, crying our eyes out, simply stressing over everything. You don’t understand that we are ten and eleven years old having panic attacks because we are struggling with our schoolwork. Do we really need to add to that?

“You say ‘make an educated guess’ but when we don’t have the education what guess are we going to make! How are we going to get past question four! The pressure put on these tests is absolutely unnecessary. Every class we walk into — ‘this is on the test,’ our teachers state. It also includes the process that goes into just taking the test, we spend practically a whole school day doing it. I know personally I never sleep the day before it, it is just absolute stress that students don’t need. “I am trying to speak up as a student because clearly no one else is. After all isn’t it my education, aren’t I the one that’s trying to learn? We as students should be having a say in what’s happening with our education. I can’t say it enough, it is unnecessary, pure evil, and completely pointless. I, as an eleven-year-old fifth grade girl, would like to see a change.

“Thank you for making the time to read this letter. I rather hope it made a difference.

Sincerely,

Lydia Dias

Amy Dias

St. Clairsville

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