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Looking beyond the test standards to social-emotional ones

Test scores are important. But so are skills that students can never demonstrate on a pencil-and-paper exam.

That’s the lesson Stephen Lazar has learned in his seven years as a city teacher. Writing in the community section, Lazar, a social studies and English teacher at the Bronx Lab School, outlines the non-academic standards he’s realized he wants his students to meet.

Here’s an excerpt from Lazar’s list:

  • I want my students to have a set of tools to deal with conflicts other than fighting, yelling, or shutting down.
  • I want my students to seek support or help for clinical depression and other mental illnesses. …

In other words, I want my students to be able to deal with the most challenging parts of the world in a healthy way. I want all that in addition to wanting them to be effective communicators, thoughtful readers, and active citizens working to improve the world.

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