Thursday, February 19, 2015

The Feeling of Failure (State Testing)

Sate Testing is made to determine whether or not a student will pass to the next grade. State and federal programs have decided that high steaks tests are required for students. Every year the state makes their tests harder or even changes up the name. Right now we have to take the STAAR and MAP then in March we will have to take the PARCC and later in high school we will have to take the ACT and SAT and who nows whatever else?

There are many questions being asked about the amount of tests and the state needs to come up with some answers. In my opinion, before they started administuring these state tests they should’ve made sure that the parents, teachers, and children were okay with taking them.

Personal Opinion: Personally I don’t think that they should have one test and debate whether you get advanced to the next grade or fail - like the MAP - because you could have been the smartest student in your class with the highest grade, and then you take the test and find out that you failed. How would someone cope with knowing or even thinking that they even had the slightest chance of passing when they have been studying all year long for this test then fail?

- Danaisha 8th grade

Here are some stories that I found helpful about standardized tests:

Standardized testing eats up instruction time. from
"Former Texas State Senator Ted Lyon found that high school students in Texas spend between 29 and 45 days a year taking tests. In Tennessee, students spend six weeks in testing a year, and California’s students spend four, according to These numbers don’t include the weeks and months spent on test preparation classes and benchmark practice exams. Schools are forced to make tough choices about course offerings to accommodate time spent preparing for standardized tests. Subjects such as art, music, and certain physical sciences aren’t tested, and therefore administrators often eliminate them from their schools. When New York City's scores dropped in 2010, many schools added two-and-a-half-hour test preparation sessions daily and additional test practice over holiday vacations, according to local papers. Decisions like this risk compromising the quality of public education, especially in high-need areas."

The stakes are too high. from
"Under the No Child Left behind Act, test scores impact how much funding a school gets from the government, as well as how much autonomy a school has. Low-performing districts run the risk of state officials taking over operations and leaving them with little freedom to make independent decisions. Schools with low scores are required to make “Adequate Yearly Progress,” a specific measure of improvement year to year. Critics of the No Child Left behind Act say that there is immense pressure on school officials, teachers, students, and parents. That pressure to succeed creates a poor environment for learning—an environment of fear, rather than discovery."

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Without Pain

Without Pain!

Without pain funny thing to say;
Without pain living in a funny way
Not knowing the motionless feeling;
Or not knowing that painful healing
My friend you have never ever lived
Through the thing we all call pain.
When describing it you will feel ill
Pain not known but only ready to kill
When feeling pain you are alive
Pain in a way helps you survive
So a life without pain I wouldn’t take a day
For life without pain is not a good way.
-Danaisha, 8th grade

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Countee Cullen

You may not know a lot about Countee Cullen, but his life was very touching. Countee Cullen was one of the most talented poets of the Harlem Rennaisance. He was well known for his lyric poetry. His poetry was very up lifting to all of his readers. It was amazing that his poetry was so uplifting since his life was filled with rocky relationships and drama.

Countee Cullen was born on March 30, 1903. He was raised in a white family in New York near Baltimore. Growing up in a white family meant his upbringing was very different to other black children of his age. The Cullen family had adopted him because he was an orphan. He attended De Witt Clinton High School in New York; that is where he began writing poetry at the age of 14. Later, he attended New York University and his poems were published in “The Crisis.” W.E.B. DuBois, a well known writer and activist, helped Countee Cullen succeed in publishing his poetry. The first poem he published was “Yet I Do Marvel”, his most famos poem was “Heritage.”

Heritage talks about his love and courage for being African. In 1928 he married W.E.B. DuBois' daughter, Nina Yolande DuBois. Langston Hughes had introduced them.
He was good friends with Countee Cullen and W.E.B DuBois. When Cullen's married his daughter DuBois didn’t like Countee Cullen because he thought that he was a jerk. As months went by W.E.B DuBois thought he wasn’t so bad after all.

Countee Cullen and Nina DuBois later got a divorce in 1930. There was a rumor that Countee Cullen was a homosexual and had a relationship with Harold Jackman. This resulted in his having a rocky marriage. Countee Cullen continued in his lyric poetry for many years and his love for Africa. His lyric poetry was something that you could sing out or make a beautiful song about.
-Zykeria, 8th grade

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Super Bowl 49

Wow!! Super bowl 49 was something everyone was waiting on, it had the largest TV audience of all time and for good reason. The game was good. The whole game the Patriots and Seahawks went head to head. Going into the fourth quarter the Seahawks were up by 10. That all changed when the Patriots got the ball. Tom Brady went down the field so fast it was like a dog was running after him. When they scored the touchdown the score was 21-24 and the game got even more interesting. Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks drove down the field fast just like the Patriots had. The game would have been over if it hadn’t been for the Seahawks’ Jermaine Kearse’s incredible catch witch brought them so close to the end zone. With 20 seconds left on the clock the Seahawks were on the 1 yard line and they threw the ball and the Patriots rookie corner back, Malcom Butler, intercepted the ball and that was the end of super bowl 49.
 - Deonte, 8th grade

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

As I Wait...

As I Wait For Hours To Pass
I Hear Screaming Of A Girl
She Is Mad
"What! What Did You Say?"
In My Mind I'm Saying
"Please Dont Say Anything."
Im Still Waiting For The Hours To Pass..
"I Dont Have Time For Messy People!"
She Said.
Im Still Waiting For The Hours To Pass
Leaving The Place Where I've Witnesed
The Action I See People..
I See The People From My Past..
I See Them In My Mind .

-Chandler, 8th grade