Our Supporters Are:

Excited about what we’re doing?  Join the movement with other amazing people working together to make education joyful and relevant.  Together we will ensure kids have what they need to be prepared for life when they leave our schools.

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#TheTestIsLife Swag is Here!

Sport your support!  By purchasing your shirt, you are supporting this critical work in rural schools and makerspaces.  Head over to the shop to get your shirt today!

#TheTestIsLife shirts shirt_womens

Join the global movement.
Make a global impact.

A few strong voices can make a difference on a local level… All of us together echoing the same positive message can change the world.

For young people, the real test comes once they’ve left our schools; when they have to apply the things they’ve learned to real-life situations.  This is the real test.

The Test is Life. Instead of teaching to a test, let’s give students the skills they need to be successful in life.  Join the global education movement that sparks imagination, inspires creativity and instills life skills in students everywhere.   #TheTestIsLife

Submit your stories, photos, videos, lessons, etc. via social media, showing how you prepare your students for success in life using the hashtag #TheTestIsLife.  Stories and resources will be collected and shared here.

“It’s not about taking a stand against testing, it’s about taking a stand in support of meaningful education for kids.”
~ Michelle Carlson, Initiator #TheTestIsLife, CEO, Future Development Group

Endorsements and support:

“We need educators who are champions for the kind of change that brings meaning and joy to all learners.  #TheTestIsLife brings those champions together in a powerful way to work together to transform education from what it is to what it can be.  I am excited to support the movement as we look to make the future of learning bright, equitable and overwhelmingly positive for all students.”
~ Dale Dougherty, Founder & Executive Chairman, Maker Media, Inc.
MAKE Magazine and Maker Faire

“Huge proponent of this movement!”
~ Brad Mendenhall, Superintendent, Evergreen Union School District

“Words cannot begin to express the importance of #TheTestIsLife. Being a life long successful entrepreneur I have been blessed with the opportunity to work with so many brilliant young minds; minds that without creative out-of-the-box learning tools would have fallen through the cracks.  I can attest to the importance of creative teaching and using “life” as the marker for success. Michelle Carlson is one of those brilliant minds. I commend her, stand beside her, and support the urgent message of #TheTestIsLife.  I encourage everyone who believes that success belongs to every child to stand beside Michelle and ROAR…..#TheTestIsLife!”
~ Mary Jayne Eidman, Entrepreneur and Mentor

“Learning to live together is our greatest responsibility as a society. This requires empathy, a strong sense of self, and the gifts every single child have to offer to their communities.  Nurturing empathy, perspective and understanding in children, and providing opportunities for every child to learn through play, expression and creation in social as well as academic contexts has to be our highest priority.  #TheTestIsLife speaks to this, and the most important thing that we as a society can possibly make— making life better, more meaningful, and rich in experiences for every single person.”
~Steve Davee, Director of Education
Maker Education Initiative

“Maker education provides the best opportunity that I have seen for all students to learn new skills and to engage in relevant and meaningful activities that serve to prepare them for their future, be it in college or career.  This is especially true in rural communities where traditional career options may not exist.  I have had the great pleasure of seeing several of my students turn ideas and skills born in my classroom into small businesses.  The message of #TheTestIsLife is one that all educators concerned with the future of their students can get behind.”
~ Casey Shea, SCOE Teacher on Loan Maker Education
Analy High School – Project Make

“It’s brilliant and it’s about time!”
~ Noelle McCammond, Curriculum Support Provider
Corning Elementary School District

“Absolutely fantastic! Just great… just great.  We’re proud to be from the same county where this is starting.”
~ Jim and Betty Holtdorf, retired business owners of 30+ years

“Education is the foundation to everything. Even though you may learn the structural engineering involved in putting a building up, it will be a better building if you know how to swing a hammer or use a saw first.”
~ Scott Chandler, Expect More Tehama leadership team

“Education in the rural environment has unique challenges, but one frustration shared by all modern educators is the struggle to prepare students for real life. The Maker Movement, brought to our small county through the vision and hard work of Michelle Carlson, goes a long way toward meeting this challenge…if all our classroom time and budget isn’t used teaching to pass mandated tests.  When we recognize the test our students need to score well on is life in the real world, sound educational priorities emerge.”
~ Jonna Hawker Turek, author

Show Your Support

Show your support for meaningful and relevant education for children by proudly displaying one of these free banners on your website with a link back to this page.

Click to open the full size image, download then share it via your website, Facebook page, Twitter, Instagram, etc.

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A very Special thanks to those who have supported this movement from day one:

Michelle Hickok for all of the amazing graphic design

Scott Chandler for his brain and marketing genius

Brad Mendenhall for his leadership and support

Noelle McCammond for her help with social media 

Jonna Turek for her help with editing and for her amazing encouragement

Greg Robinson for his expertise in video editing and filmmaking