Writing my way through the school year!

When my kids were finished their DCAS Reading  test last month, I had them pretend to write letters to the test. I am posting some of the letters they wrote.

Dear Reading DCAS,

Why do you have to be  hard?  I know I do your tests in the beginning, middle, and end of the year.  But doing 55 questions in 3 days is a lot.  We have to take our time to get a good score, otherwise we might get a 1 and that’s not good.  Can we see what questions we got right and what questions we got wrong at the end of the test?  So that way we can understand why we got whatever we got wrong was wrong.  I think that could help us a lot.  How about that idea for next year?  It really could help.  Otherwise DCAS has to be THE WORST THING EVER!!! 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Sincerely Z

Dear Reading DCAS,

I am taking you right now and you are being very harsh. You are being harsh because you make the questions hard. So can you please make the questions easier so I can get a 4? Also, do you think you can make less questions so there are only 36 instead of 54. So it don’t take 2 entire days to finish it. Finally, instead of 4 being the highest point to score make it 10. So it is like the scale of 10. Well anyway Thanks!

Your Friend,



Dear Reading DCAS,

You  just stress me out every min I take you. Why do you have to be so hard? Can you  have at least 10 questions instead 54. When I take you, you  make me wanna throw the laptop. Across the floor and rip every single of my hair out. Then I’l be bald. See what you do to me? I just can’t stand you DCAS. I never wanna take you again. No hard feelings DCAS. It was just my opinion. So please don’t give me a bad grade for telling the truth. But I need you to ease up on me.



Dear DCAS,

I really can’t stand you!

You make me so nervous every time I have to take you.

You make me stressed out then I forget everything when you’re in front of me.

When I’m done taking you it all comes back to me.

Maybe one day I  will beat you.

 I would be a lot more happy without you in my life. The only good thing about you is on Math Dcas

you have a calculator to help me.


 Dear Reading DCAS Test,

   I don’t understand why the company created you. You make life harder than it needs to be in school. Now all our field trips are moved to the end of the school year and we only have one field trip. I am so mad and frustrated because of your pointless questions. Some of them don’t even make any sense. The only good thing about you is when we have extra recess. It’s so tragic!!! Also we usually don’t have to learn anything. It is in the way of school even though that doesn’t really bother me. If we already do regular tests, whats the point of having a DCAS test? It takes too long to even remember what you learn before the DCAS. It’s just confusing. I don’t get the whole concept of taking the longest test that I have ever taken. The whole process is crazy. You make me freak out with anxiety about my score.



Dear DCAS,

 Thanks for giving me a good score. All the hard work paid off. My mom and my dad was really proud of me. I took my time, highlighted the answers and  got a good score.I never felt better about myself for getting a good score on the type of subject. I hate reading but I still got a good score and I’m proud of it.   

From J


Comments on: "Letters to the Reading DCAS(Our State Test)):My Students Write How They Feel!" (12)

  1. Queen of Hearts said:

    I had two 6th grade students burst out in tears right after they hit submit and saw their scores. They were two of my best students who happened to have a bad day. It broke my heart as I hugged them and dried their tears.

  2. A number of years ago, I had a high school student in tears over this test — her mother was dying. Needless to say, she didn’t pass. With all that was going on in her life, I was proud of her for even showing up and attempting it. Days later, she lost her mother. But according to the state of PA, it was we who “Left Her Behind” that year.

  3. Kimberly said:

    In Ohio we haven’t gone to testing on the computer, but we will be in 2 years. It makes me nervous! I teach students with special needs and our kiddos have to take the test too. I have had kids cry, beg for help, throw tantrums, end up under tables, and get sick from the stress. We take ours in 2 weeks. To make matters worse, if the kids don’t pass, I could lose my job. I appreciate your students candid letters to the test…I wonder what my kids would say?

  4. Queen of Hearts said:

    We escaped the DPAS II dreaded component 5 this year which links DCAS scores to teacher effectiveness. Who knows what will happen next year? For my Special Ed kids, I put in their IEP that they are to be given a printed copy of the test questions. Since I teach math, this eliminates errors in transferring information from the computer to scratch paper.

    • We supposedly escaped it too, but they are making our kids take the test a 4th time because they are getting ready for Component 5. smh

      • Queen of Hearts said:

        We pick and choose who takes it the 4th time. 3s and 4s don’t but then we look at who we can move to the next level for AYP. We look at 1b’s and 2b’s as they will net you the most points if you can get them to the next level. It’s a numbers game and now we know the rules and how to play. Really, it is sad but I need to keep my job.

    • Kimberly said:

      Right now, the kids aren’t allowed to have anything BUT the test via state testing regulations. Who knows what the testing will look like when it goes to all computer! Makes me scared!

  5. We head to computerized FCAT testing this week. I read your post and will have each of my gifted students write the FCAT team as well. These tests DO NOT measure student progression and should not be linked to school money or teacher raises. Most of all, they should not be a sole factor in student progression…for exactly the reasons and student situations you all share.

  6. This is what New York students write about the tests, “Why do you put talking pineapples on the test?” The whole episode was written up in all the New York City newspapers- but I think Daniel Pinkwater’s response in the Daily News best sums up the ridiculousness of the whole standardized testing policy. http://www.nydailynews.com/opinion/pineapple-idiots-knew-book-world-dumbest-test-question-article-1.1065566

  7. […] One letter that was written by a student in Delaware after finishing the DCAS, Delaware standardized reading test. […]

  8. […] Here’s an interesting blog post from a teacher in Delaware who actually had her students write letters to their standardized state tests. […]

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