April is National Poetry Month, but it is also standardized testing season. As a public educator, I have the utmost respect for the laws that govern our institutions of learning. However, many educators, including myself, advocate for a more holistic approach to assessing student achievement and holding schools accountable. It can be challenging for underfunded and impoverished schools to “meet the mark.” Often, the score does not equate to their efforts. This poem is dedicated to all schools, but especially those lacking the resources they so desperately need.


More Than a Score


Judgement Day is upon us

The time has come once again

To confine our knowledge to bubbles

And cite our evidence


We’ll strip the walls of all knowledge

And put the desks back in rows

The moment has arrived

For students to show what they know


They will be asked to read and write

At levels that are quite complex

If we only test what we value,

Is there no value in the rest?


We’re told it measures potential

That it helps build resilience and grit

180 days of learning

Yet, it all comes down to this


We will follow the rules of the game

But will not be defined by the score

You cannot quantify the qualities

That make us so much more


We are smart in many ways

That you simply cannot measure

You could not put on paper

What we have accomplished together


We cultivate problem solvers

Day in, and day out

We greatly impact the future

And that’s what really counts

Click More than a Score for the printable poster!