Poet Protests Test Questions Featuring Her Work

"I'm not dead. I protest."

Many people acknowledge how useless testing can be, especially if it's standardized testing. As a teacher, I like to say that it shows us what students don't know, not what they do, and as a student, I always chose essays over multiple choice tests for this very reason. Normally these tests put the work of dead writers under scrutiny to be analyzed by students, but when live poet Sara Holbrook saw her poems being analyzed on a test she had to speak out.

Holbrook says that even she could not answer the multiple choice questions asked about her work, which apparently described the meaning of her poetry that even Holbrook found puzzling! She said that normally poets who are analyzed are dead, so they can't speak out like she's doing. She hates that kids are asked these questions about a poem instead of them being given time to really read and enjoy it.

What do you think of poetry used in standardized testing? Do you think the poets' original intent is often preserved?

Add new comment

Filtered HTML

  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote> <ul> <ol> <li> <i> <b> <img> <table> <tr> <td> <th> <div> <strong> <p> <br> <u>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.