Although resistant at first, veteran art teacher Mrs. Vivian Dahlia now supports the district-wide push for art classes to exclusively teach test bubbling skills.
By the end of all art classes in District 22, students will have the ability to bubble their answer sheets with confidence, speed, and (most importantly) the careful dexterity it takes to color inside the lines.
“I had no idea how behind our students were!” Dahlia said. “With this curriculum shift, I finally feel like I’m shaping kids’ lives in a meaningful way.”
At the start of this term, Dahlia’s class will focus on the foundation to proper test bubbling: sharpening a pencil without compromising its delicate lead tip. Over the year, the class will advance to higher-order skills such as applying the precise amount of pressure needed to erase lead marks without fraying the paper.
The students will build portfolios of bubbled answer sheets that they feel most proud of completing. Dahlia is already excited to select their most captivating samples: “Parents always light up when they see their child’s true potential.”
Superintendent Sharon Shuman is unsurprised that Dahlia and other art teachers are now welcoming the deconstruction of curriculum that they spent decades perfecting.
According to Shuman, the art teachers just needed a little push to recognize that students benefit most from skills that are immediately applicable. “You see, creativity might help a child sometime in their life, but Scantron bubbling makes a measurable impact right away,” she said.
Generous grants from the community equip each student in the district with 24 No. 2 pencils. Dahlia said, “It’s such a relief to have policy-makers on our side. The days of begging for essential supplies are over!”
As District 22’s revamped art curriculum gains recognition across the state, administrators prepare to expand their course offerings. Manual test bubbling may currently be an imperative skill, but schools are not blind to the impending reality of paperless testing.
“We have some digital art programs in the works,” Shuman said. “Our kids’ futures are on the line: we won’t let them down.”