"Learning happens in the minds and souls, not in the databases of multiple choice test" ~ Sir Ken Robinson
This morning during a beautiful drive into work I listened to a story on the radio that was both touching and concerning at the same time. One of our local radio stations was doing a their morning show live at the Children's Hospital to help support a fundraising campaign. During one of the segments they interviewed a young 12 year old girl that just a few years earlier was fighting for her life at that very same hospital as a result of a brain tumor. The girl and her mother both gave touching recounts about their time at the hospital and all the wonderful staff that helped them through a very difficult and challenging time. The young girl was very articulate and charming as she explained what her condition was and how the people at the hospital helped her through the many tests and procedures she had to go through, some of which were very painful. It was enough to bring you to tears. This was the touching part.
The concerning part was when the DJ pointed out that today she was at the hospital for only a short time to help support the fundraising campaign before heading to school for different types of tests, the provincial tests for Language and Mathematics that we call EQAO. Instead of focusing on a wonderful community resource that helps thousands of children every year like her this young girl had to run off to school to ensure she finished her EQAO tests! Is our focus on testing overshadowing the more important social aspects of public education? I'd love to hear your thoughts!