by Frances Peacock
Everyone is worried about test scores. Go to any corner of this country, and you’ll hear mayors, governors, and senators making speeches about students’ growth on standardized tests. It’s enough to give a kid a stomachache. Children don’t care about those speeches. They have better things to do. They’re busy growing and learning. Every child knows, there are lots of things more important than a test score when you’re eight:
If the teacher says you’re a sweet kid and a good listener.
If you’re better at skipping rope than you were a year ago.
If you can hold the door for the lady behind you, and say “hello”.
What you do when you see a bug.
If you can keep your shoelaces out of the mud.
If you can pick the weeds, not the flowers.
If you know not to sit in the sun with a chocolate bar on a hot day.
How you act when you receive a birthday present you really do not like.
If you can help your mother remember where she parked the car.
If there’s a science experiment you can’t wait to try at home.
If you can make something beautiful out of an oatmeal box.
Whether you keep on trying to get the ball in the hoop. Whether you keep on trying to write your name in cursive.
If you want to know what kind of nest is in that tree.
If you put a lot of stuff in your pockets that you want to look at later.
If you’re friends with the lady behind the desk at the library.
If you’re beginning to figure out that everything good comes from God.
If you have a teacher who knows that you, little Suzanne in group number 3, are more important than any test score could possibly measure.