Testing Culture and Equitable Access in Education

By Vivett Dukes & Meredith Chase-Mitchell

#SafeSpaceConvos is a Twitter chat led and hosted by teacher, writer, and advocate Vivett Dukes on alternating Mondays at 8:30pm ET. In a forum that encourages honest dialogue and connection, we come together to learn, grow, and co-construct solutions to pressing problems for students.

Meredith Chase-Mitchell co-hosted this week’s chat. Native New Yorker and Classroom Culture co-founder, Meredith has worked as a director of programs, charter school advocate, and middle school English teacher. She is currently a Learning Specialist with an independent school in Washington, D.C., where she implements innovative instructional strategies for students in grades 9-12.


Chat Highlights

Q1: What has your experience been with testing culture in educational spaces?



Q2: What accommodations best serve your students and why? 


Q3: Should accommodations be available for all students regardless of learning disability diagnosis? 


Q4: IDEA legislation aims at providing education in the least restrictive environment. Have we truly implemented this policy as intended? 


Q5: How as educators can we ensure that instruction in our schools is equitable? Where does this work begin? 


Q6: Should classroom based accommodations be applied to standardized testing even without an Individualized Education Plan ( IEP)? Is this fair?Why or why not?


Q7: What role does White privilege and inequitable wealth distribution play in the “Varsity Blues” scandal?


Q8: How do we teach ethics and honesty to our students in this current climate of high-stakes plagiarism from adults?


Q9: In the “Varsity Blues” scandal, were the punishments handed down commensurate with the offenses committed? What message does this send to our students? What message does this send to us? 


Q10: What meaningful next steps can we take to foster a more equitable and ethical testing culture?


Be bold. Be authentic. Join #SafeSpaceConvos

You’re invited to join the next chat on Monday, November 18, 2019 at 8:30pm ET. You can also read through these archived chats for insights and resources from your peers.