Thursday, April 11, 2013

Measuring the Immeasurable

Measuring the Immeasurable 

     I sat in a meeting today where my district asked for volunteers to create end- of- course exams for classes not already covered by some type of standardized test.  Stupidly I was surprised when creative writing was one of these courses.  I turned to the teacher next to me and said, “How do you make a standardized test for creative writing?”
     He said, “Seems counterintuitive, doesn't it?”
     Yes, yes it does.  I know that there is good writing and bad writing, but I still hate the thought of standardizing high school creative writing and trying to make it fit in a box. 
     Creative writing is about going through the writing process and learning there is no one way to process writing.  It is about creating a writing community and writing raw emotion.  It is about exploring different genres and finding your best style.  It is about trusting your peers and sharing a piece of humanity with them.  It is about tears and laughter.  It is about fear and courage. It is about writing with your heart and with your head.  It is about putting the pen to the paper and the fingers to the keys.  It is about living for the words because words change things.  They change minds and souls.  They change directions and shapes. They change policy and procedure. They change sight and sound. They change beliefs and ideas.  They change who we are.
     How in the heavens do my students bubble that on a test?

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