Why teachers shouldn’t be responsible for low test scores

Tests showcase what a student has learned on a certain topic, so it should only make sense that teachers are responsible for low test scores, right? Wrong, teachers can only do so much to help out a student so the blame for low test scores shouldn’t be placed on them.

There are a lot of factors that go into whether a student does well on a test, and while teaching is definitely a factor, it’s not the only one. Students that choose not to study the material will obviously do worse than someone who did. Teachers can’t be there to watch over a student and make sure he/she studies. That responsibility falls solely on the student. Students are also just ordinary human beings that have their good days and their bad days, and even if the teacher did their job well, that test score’s going to drop if it happens to be taken on an off day. Teachers shouldn’t be held accountable for low test scores caused by factors they can’t control.

Holding teachers responsible for low test scores will force teachers to teach to the test. Students wouldn’t be able to get the full value from a course because their teachers are too focused on teaching to a test crafted by the school district. Teachers would be pressed for time trying to cram in all the material before test day, and won’t be able to teach to the best of their abilities. Instead, they’ll be worried about whether their classes’ average score is enough to keep them in a job.

I’m not saying that teachers shouldn’t be held accountable. They should, but it should have context behind it. If a student gets a low test score, compare it to their overall performance in the class. Look at performance reviews to see if the teacher teaches well or better yet, just sit in on a class. Any of these methods paint a more complete picture of a teacher.

Teachers shouldn’t be responsible for low test scores because it will ultimately have a negative impact on the students. Let teachers do their jobs without being focused on appealing to a scantron.

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Into the Wild

Into the Wild is a must-read for all those that want to live a more nomadic lifestyle. It follows Chris McCandless as he hitchhikes his way around the nation, working odd jobs and staying in even odder circumstances, as he makes his way to his ultimate goal of Alaska. “I’m riding the rails now. What fun, I wish I had jumped trains earlier,” Chris McCandless said in a Mar. 5, 1992 letter to Jan Burress (p. 53). Krakauer does an exquisite job at capturing the sense of adventure McCandless felt while exploring his subject as a person. He also illuminates the topic of survival by using McCandless’ journal to provide a first-hand look at what it was like to be a nomad in Seattle. I can’t recommend it highly enough.

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  • Krakauer, Jon. Into the Wild. Anchor Books, 1997.

Surviving Seattle: Public restrooms

If you’re in the middle of a sightseeing session in downtown Seattle and find that nature begins to call, don’t fret about being caught without indoor plumbing. Seattle Center has several large, well-maintained restrooms: one near the entrance of the Northwest Rooms, near the southeast corner of KeyArena, and up the stairs from the Armory’s north entrance and food court’s mezzanine level. Having a large public restroom to use makes life on the road a lot more comfortable for people like Chris McCandless.

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Surviving Seattle: Transportation

Getting around any major city is hard and often impractical without a viable transportation option. Luckily, Seattle (and the rest of the Puget Sound region) has a bevy of options. Aside from the over 200 bus lines connecting King County (home to Seattle) to the region, there are streetcars, trains, light rail, water taxis and ferries connecting the region. An ORCA (one regional card for all) card is a must-get for anyone trying to get around the region, as it works like cash across the board on most Puget Sound transportation options. This an excellent help for people like McCandless that need efficient ways to get around and a load as light and minimal as possible.

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Surviving Seattle: The Weather

Seattle is known for a variety of things, but first and foremost is the seemingly constant drizzle that looms over the city for weeks at a time. Instead of forcibly huddling inside, this author suggests taking advantage of the Japanese technique Shinrin-yoku (forest bathing) as a “simple way to relieve stress, anxiety, depression, and improve overall health.” The Emerald City is home to numerous urban forests like the Beacon Food Forest with plenty of walking trails. This is a great way to pass time for people like Chris McChandless, who liked to roam around and explore by walking.

The perfect thing to combat a cold Seattle rain is the warm “long-simmered goodness” of soup. A good soup can be made with simple, everyday vegetables that you can find lying around any fridge or pick up easily at any supermarket. Once you saute the vegetables in a post, use stock or let the vegetables become caramelized. Then add water along with spices and seasoning. Boil it for a bit, and then let it simmer. This is good for people like Chris McCandless because it’s so adaptable for anything that you have in the fridge.

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Christmastime Sadness

First of all, happy holidays to you and those you love. I hope it’s going a lot better than mine.

Let me explain: It all started last Labor Day. I finally worked up the confidence to confess my love for my long-time crush. I didn’t get laughed out of the building, but it was a clear rejection. 

Since then, I’ve felt wallowing emotions that just seem to flare up every now and then for some odd reason: walking past a couple in makeout bliss at school, watching the Fault in Our Stars, and of course the nightmarish seasons of prom, homecoming, and Valentine’s Day for a high schooler dealing with post-tramatic love disorder. Today is definitely one of those flare up days.

I don’t know what will fill the gaping black hole in my heart, but I do know that my love for Ayeillie is without a doubt the strongest emotion I’ve felt in my 16 years of existence.

The Grind

I’m just coming off of one of the busiest stretches of my life, between preparing for the AP test and helping put together a special section for the Tribal Times, while still covering the latest developments for Paw Print Media. In fact, this post has been put off since January.

During this stretch, I’ve noticed a few things about myself. My energy levels slumped as I struggled to figure out what to prioritize, but once I found that winning combination, I was locked in.

For me, my advice for getting through the grind is to find your flow, stick to it, and watch those tasks evaporate. You’ll be happy you did.