U.K. Teacher Writes Moving Letter to Student With Autism Who Didn't Pass Standardized Test
Standardized tests are meant to be challenging, but for students who learn differently these tests can be especially daunting and sometimes unfair.
At Lansbury Bridge School and Sports College, a school for students with special needs in St. Helens, England, most students opt out of taking the country’s standardized tests.
Not 11-year-old Ben Twist though. Twist decided he was up for the challenge and sat down for his SATs, the U.K.’s version of a high school placement test.
Though Twist did not pass the exam, his teacher sent him home with a note highlighting his accomplishments as a student, accomplishments which aren’t measured by placement exams.
The note – shared by Twist’s mother, Gail Twist, on Twitter – congratulates the young man on his attitude and success in completing the exam. His teacher, Mrs. Clarkson, then goes to share a crucial lesson about standardized tests.
“A very important piece of information I want you to understand is that these tests only measure a little bit of you and your abilities,” Clarkson writes. “They are important and you have done so well but Ben Twist is made up of many other skills and talents that we at Lansbury Bridge see and measure in other ways.”
Clarkson then goes on to list some of Twist’s skills and talents including: his kindness, ability to make friends, artistic talent, and athletic prowess among many others.
You can read Clarkson’s full letter below.
In tears. A letter to my 11 yr old autistic son from his school. “These tests only measure a little bit of you” pic.twitter.com/e9OPECidxX
— Gail Twist (@gailtwist) July 9, 2016
The letter reads:
I am writing to you to congratulate you on your attitude and success in completing your end of key stage SATs.
Gil, Lynn, Angela, Steph and Anne have worked so well with you this year and you have made some fabulous progress. I have written to you and your parents to tell you the results of the tests.
A very important piece of information I want you to understand is that these tests only measure a little bit of you and your abilities. They are important and you have done so well but Ben Twist is made up of many other skills and talents that we at Lansbury Bridge see and measure in other ways.
Other talents you have that these test do not measure include
• Your artistic talents
• Your ability to work in a team
• Your growing independence
• Your kindness
• Your ability to express your opinion
• Your abilities in sport
• Your ability to make and keep friends
• Your ability to discuss and evaluate your own progress
• Your design and building talents
• Your musical ability
We are so pleased that all of these different talents and abilities make you the special person you are and these are all of the things we measure to reassure us that you are always making progress and continuing to develop as a lovely bright young man.
Well done Ben, we are very proud of you.