More teaching, less talking pineapples. Submit your work to show that you are Pro-Learning!

Created by Ari Joseph who attended NYC Public School and is Pro-Learning. Please download this image and share it to raise awareness about the issues surrounding standardized tests.

Over the past few weeks I’ve been following the latest news on standardized testing here in New York. It is a controversial issue to say the least, and it’s about much more than a sleeveless, talking pineapple. Sadly, I do not have a perfect solution to suggest as an alternative to standardized testing, but I think we can all agree that we want children to spend their time in an environment that promotes creativity, imagination and innovation. Plus, if Pineapples can talk, I think its high time we begin speaking up too! (Sorry, I had to…)

This is not a new issue. Teachers have been complaining for years that standardized testing has taken a toll on authentic and creative learning. This year there seems to be a growing group of parents and administrators who are making noise and raising awareness around the country. Suddenly this crucial matter is gaining more attention. I believe that it will be the voices of students, teachers and parents that will ultimately make a difference in education and bring learning back into our classrooms.

I am only a former teacher (whatever that means)…but in an effort to be more of a doer and less of a talker I have come up with two ways that I can pitch in and advocate for better learning environments for children. I hope you will help me. Here is the first part of my action plan…


Action Plan Part 1: 

I would like to create a section of EdGeeks where I can feature the thoughts of parents, students, teachers and administrators who are Pro-Learning. Pro-Learning means that you believe in imagination, encourage innovation and embrace mistakes. The goal is to provide a platform where the people who matter can speak out about how and why they feel that standardized testing has led our classrooms away from learning. Here is a list of suggested ideas for work to submit. Please email all entries to and feel free to scan in any hand-written work. (If you wish to remain anonymous, please state that in your email.)

Suggestions for Student Submissions:
  • Write a piece about what you wish you could do in school instead of test prep
  • Write a piece about your favorite type of learning or a favorite project you have done
  • Write about an experience that you have had before, during or after testing
  • Interview a friend about how they feel about testing or test prep
  • Draw a illustration that represents your feelings about (testing, school, learning, etc.)
Suggestions for Adult Submissions:
  • Write about a time when you felt that testing was standing in the way of authentic learning for your child/your student/yourself (ie: testing, test prep, homework for testing)
  • Interview your child/student and submit a video clip of a moving response
  • Submit a photo of your child’s artistic demonstration: (ie: photo of a stack of test prep books, etc.)
  • Teachers/administrators can submit a story about a time when test preparation got in the way of learning
You can begin submitting your work via email ( immediately. In fact, the sooner the better! If you wish to handwrite- or your children want to handwrite/draw an illustration, feel free to scan and email as an attachment. Once I have received the first 5 pieces, I will create the section on my site and make it public. Think of this as an e-book of voices from the field.
Here is my very first submission:

This was a HW assignment submitted by a concerned parent of an 8-year old third grader. The HW was to practice filling in bubbles. No instructions, no questions asked. Gotta make sure those bubbles get filled!

Stay tuned for Action Plan Part 2, coming up early next week…

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  • Avery May 7, 2012 - 11:43pm

    How does this tie into art? Obviously art is project based


    • Marisa Kaplan May 8, 2012 - 8:03am

      I have had a few parents ask if they can have their children draw a picture to express their feelings on testing and test prep. I have also had some submissions that are photographic representations, so I was just opening up the invitation to written work as well as art. Is that what you were asking? If not, email me at and I’ll be happy to respond. Happy Tuesday!


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