PA AND LAURA INGALLS DISCUSS THE MERITS OF HIGH-STAKES TESTING DURING A PUBLIC HEALTH CRISIS
“States still must give standardized tests this year, Biden Administration announces.” — Education Week, 2/22/21
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“Laura! Mary! Carrie! Time for school!” Pa shouted, the merry twinkle in his eye alerting Laura that something either very good or very dangerous was up. With Pa you just never knew.
“But Pa,” Laura replied, “the scarlet fever is raging through our town. If we go to school, we may contract it. By the way, Mary seems a bit off this morning.”
Pa brushed Laura’s concerns aside. “Now listen, Half-Pint, this is a big day — you got an important test. No Ingalls is gonna let the threat of the sniffles get in the way of taking an examination that will determine whether or not you advance to the 5th grade.”
Laura considered this and then, with a boldness that surprised even herself, said, “But Pa, I’m not sure I’ll be able to concentrate. Besides, we’ve been mostly learning from home ever since the outbreak. And Ma, well, she’s a great butter churner and all, but her math skills don’t extend beyond the second grade. No offence, Ma.”
“None taken,” Ma murmured as she nursed the baby while cooking breakfast, hanging out the laundry, and knitting a scarf.
“No excuses! Now scoot!” yelled Pa. “The School Commissioner says the test is on! Debilitating fever or no debilitating fever.”
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