Letters to the editor June 8

Memorial Day flags
Dear Editor,
I notice every time I drive by the Ortonville Cemetery how awesome it looks. The flags on Memorial Day were such a beautiful show of respect to honor our fallen hero’s. Our little town continues to show pride. Thank you to whomever takes care of it. It makes me proud.
Greg and Judy Olrich
Brandon softball
Dear Editor,
The Brandon Varsity Softball Team would like to thank everyone who supported their home run derby fundraiser.
Many local businesses and community members sponsored the event. The team would like to give a special thank you to: Ortonville Ace Hardware, Bueches, The Boat Bar, Bullfrogs Bar and Grill, the Gateway, 15th Street Tavern, The Four Seasons, Frosty Boy, Tom’s Market, O’Malley’s Galley, Hungry Howies, Papa Bella’s Pizza, Megan Koch of Color Street, McPhees, Hamiltons, Little things, Brandon Tire, Something Different, Paramount, MSU Credit Union, Jason Rumble and all the parents, family members, and friends who supported the team.
It was a huge success. All of your support is greatly appreciated.
Thank you,
The Brandon Varsity Softball Team

Standardized test unfair
Dear Editor,
Testing day. The day every student comes to hate. The day where questions that many students have never seen before are being asked of them. Guessing is the best option in this unfair and inefficient method of attempting to find a student’s intelligence. The tests ask the students so many useless questions that they may not know the answer to, and won’t until further along in their school careers. They may never understand how to find the answer to that question until they get to the point in the curriculum where they learn it in school.
Test scores can also cause drops in a student’s confidence. Many of the school population think that standardized tests are unfair and that the students themselves don’t have a voice in the matter. As the founding fathers once said, “No taxation without representation.”
We are arguing a similar point of view on the issue of standardized testing because none of the student body gets the choice to take the standardized tests. The state tells schools that they have to take the tests because they “help” with the students’ education, when really it’s just taking away days that they could use to learn what they need to learn before the end of the school year.

There are so many reasons that we have accumulated as to why standardized tests are so unimportant in school. This is why a History class from Brandon Middle School, taught by Mr. Sheldon, has decided to speak out against standardized testing. They are currently writing articles for other newspaper companies, along with letters to representatives from Michigan, pleading their cause.
We have conducted two surveys so far on their case, and the results were staggering; no student that we have had an encounter with have said that they enjoyed the tests, and out of the 84 students who took one of the two surveys presented to them, half agreed that the tests do not benefit students, 25 said that they only benefit a little, and 12 agreed that they aren’t sure. In total, 79 of the 84 students could possibly produce negative emotions toward standardized tests.
Like many schools, Brandon Middle School recently gave every eighth grader in the middle school the famous PSAT test, an exam that lasts every student through high school and “helps” them get into college. But getting a low score — or, at least, a lower score than everyone else — can cause anxiety and a massive drop of confidence. A student in one of Mr. Sheldon’s classes scored lower than the majority of the class, and their confidence plummeted. They raise their hand less and less as time goes by. They seem afraid to get the answer wrong whenever a question is asked, and it has greatly affected their performance in school. It would be much easier to just eliminate all these negative factors in a student’s school career.
Though our movement against standardized tests has so far been somewhat successful, one worry that we have had is that the government won’t take our case as a serious subject, what with the protestors being a handful of eighth graders. In fact, a few websites that we have found said that the government is less likely to take children seriously than adults. But, as the ones being constantly tested without pause in the autumn, winter, and spring of each school year, on behalf of other students we believe that they have every right to be taken seriously.
Other students, teachers, parents, or other citizens reading this may feel similarly about standardized tests. We will gladly accept any help that any of you would like to provide. Please take our survey added below if you would like to take part in our movement, and email us if you have any questions or concerns. For the sake of every student who sits in the back of the classroom, never speaking, never thinking anything besides, I’ll just get it wrong again; in the name of every student who used to excel in every class, but now can’t gather the courage to raise their hand and answer questions; let’s settle this issue once and for all.
Thank you for your help and support.
Written by: Charlotte Baldwin and Abby Muehlheim. Contributors to the article: Margo Gilbert, Joey Nichols and Dylan Toth
Fourth hour eighth grade Honors U.S. History class, Brandon Middle School