Not on the test

Tom Chapin’s song is a gentle lament for the abandonment of so many things that are “not on the test.” September’s new year hope is in the air tonight, despite over-testing and teacher-bashing.

Yesterday, my great-niece fizzed with the excitement of a soon-to-be kindergartner. She knows her school, has met her teacher, said one of her preschool buddies will be in the same class and two others in another class in the same school. She’s ready with new school clothes and even new Disney Princess underpants.

This weekend, big signs marked move-in day at St. Thomas, which seemed to go smoothly enough. Tonight at Noodles, a dozen Katies waited for takeout orders. New cars on the block mark new student neighbors next door. Tomorrow traffic patterns will change as 50,000 students, give or take a few, start classes at the U of M.

“Not on the Test” is a good reminder of what we (teachers, parents, grown-ups) owe students — so much more than what is on the test. As a new school year begins, I’m making new resolutions to support the teachers, schools and candidates who will do the most to meet the needs of all of our students.

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