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Testing is one aspect of learning

This week most students in the coverage area of The Selma Times-Journal face high challenges. They will submit to state-mandated testing for mathematics, science, reading and language skills.

Teachers and students have worked hard to prepare for these tests on which public schools will be graded later to see if the school district is turning out the kinds of students geared for success, according to the state Department of Education.

Whether you agree with the standardized tests or not; they are the reality until a better measuring stick comes along.

Here in the Black Belt where unemployment is high and poverty levels rank among some of the highest in the nation, many students already start with a disadvantage.

That’s why it’s so important our children feel support in their endeavors, not just during these weeks of testing, but in all school activities.

Education experts recommend parents see their children have plenty of rest and eat a good breakfast before the morning’s testing. It’s always a good idea to start the day off positively with the child.

And, for those who do not have children in the school, if you are acquainted with a child or have the opportunity to speak with one, lend some words of encouragement to them.

Teachers, thank you for your hard work in preparing our children for this week.

But we all should remember testing is not the beginning and ending of education. All children — everyone — should resolve to become lifelong learners.

That is the joy of education.