Rep. Sabi Kumar has a message for students, parents, and teachers about the TNReady problems: Stop whining!
Yes, that’s what the Robertson County State Representative said in an email to an educator. The full email response is pictured below. Here’s the text where he responds directly about the testing issues this year:
I also ask a favor of you.
I ask that you and your colleagues rise to your calling as Educators and use this TN Ready Software Failure, that is being labeled a “Debacle” and a “Spectacular Failure”, as a Teaching Moment for your students.
I ask that you teach your students to treat this as a Bump in the Road and teach them how to handle Software Failures at home, or later, in their work space and in Life!
We do not want a child to learn that if they complain loud enough or cry in response to stress, life will get better. It is more important that they learn how to overcome stress and find solutions to problems in the Software of Life.
We want our students to be Winners Who Overcome Circumstances in Life and not whiners who complain. I do agree that each child has different needs and responses but our goal should be the same.
I admire you and your fellow Educators because you do so much for our children.
There is no successful adult who does not owe gratitude to that special teacher, or teachers, who helped shape us towards success in life.
So, Rep. Kumar ends his letter with kind-sounding words about teachers after suggesting that raising concerns about a testing system that has repeatedly failed students makes them “whiners.”
Kumar speaks of teaching children to find solutions to problems while simultaneously refusing to hold the Tennessee Department of Education accountable. He fails to mention that the voters of Robertson County send him to Nashville to help find solutions. Instead, he allows a multi-million dollar, multi-year testing failure to continue and implores those pointing that out to stop whining.
To students who have had schedules disrupted, test answers erased, and instructional time lost, Mr. Kumar says: stop complaining and don’t cry.
One thing he says is true: So far, in spite of the outcry from teachers, parents, and students, life in schools during TNReady is not getting any better. The testing marches on, the window is extended, the problems continue and those responsible are not held accountable.
Here’s an image of the email sent by Kumar:
Here’s how to contact Rep. Kumar.
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I sent him this:
Dear Rep. Kumar,
Thank you for supporting teachers and students to be held harmless for any scores resulting from the fiasco that is TN Ready.
I am pleased that, at least for this year, the burden has been lifted.
I also ask a favor of you.
I ask that you do not equate our articulate, intelligent teachers and students to “whiners who complain”.
We do not want teachers and students to be afraid to speak truth to power.
We want teachers and students to use their voices assertively when an injustice is being served.
We want our children to overcome “circumstances in life” by demonstrating the confidence it takes to initiate change.
As the parent of a public school child, I will appreciate your continued support of our teachers and students.
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Disgusting. Kumar is not in the classroom for hours when students take these tests only to be booted off or can’t submit. Teachers and students are so tired and demoralized. It takes a good 45 minutes to even log in to the tests. They are incredibly time-consuming and worthless, since nobody gets to see their questions and answers. Three weeks or more of instruction is hijacked by these tests.
Rep. Kamar, I’ve got your “Teaching Moment” [sic] in grammar, usage, and mechanics right here: you flunk the capitalization portion of the test.
Until you are able to practice what you apparently think you are preaching, please do not presume to tell teachers ANYTHING about how they ought to pursue their craft.