Eduflack’s Review of This Is Not A Test, For Argument’s Sake

Jose Vilson Jose


Today, Patrick Riccards of EduFlack wrote a review of my book This Is Not A Test, and it moved me in a major way. Read this excerpt:

But most importantly, I walked away thinking I want someone like Vilson to be teaching my kiddos. This is a teacher who cares and a teacher who is making a difference each and every day he steps into his classroom. We may disagree on the finer points of testing, with me hoping he would give more credit to the value of interim assessments in improving both teaching and learning. But there is no disagreeing that Vilson gets it. He knows what we are doing right and what we are doing wrong in the American classroom. He cuts through all of the flowery language and platitudes and excuses we hear far too often, and speaks truth on issues where honest truth is often absent. And he lays out issue after issue that I want to further engage him on, have a deeper discussion of, and, yes, try to change his mind about.


I have a plethora of great reviews from friends, colleagues, and folks who agree with my edu-politic. But this one was special because, even though we’ve had good conversations on Twitter, I didn’t think we had much in common. When it comes to assessment, we’re as “opposite” as can be. I’m up for debate on most days when we . I don’t play the edu-jargon games, so that makes it harder to paint me in a corner. Also, I understand, though not always agree, other viewpoints other than my own, which is important as a classroom teacher and an education writer.

I’m a firm believer that listening to other arguments can, at times, makes one’s own argument stronger.

Yet, I’m glad it got through to Patrick because it lets me know that this idea of two sides of ed-deform is nonsense and that we can develop different approaches depending on the conversation. He also took it back to his own experiences as a father. That matters for me. He thinks he’s going to sway me on some things. He won’t, but it’s good to know that I served him food for thought. Please read what he said because it really was heartfelt and tell him what you think.

We’ll call it peace meal.


photo c/o