Baylor poet’s work to be featured in global student testing

Professor of English Dr. William V. Davis is Baylor’s Writer-in-Residence, and his award-winning poetry has been featured in a wide variety of publications over the years.

Now, Davis has learned that his poetry has received yet another honor. The education department of the government of Alberta, Canada, has chosen one of Davis’s poems to include as an “assessment item” for their English Language Arts Diploma Examination Program for Grade 12. This means that students in five separate examinations during 2012 will be required to read and analyze Davis’s poem. The exams will be administered in Alberta, Nunavut and the Northwest Territories.

That’s quite an honor by itself, but it seems that getting a poem included on a Canadian test can lead to additional recognition. Davis has learned that his poem will also be used in required exams administered in Abu Dhabi, Bermuda, Doha, Hong Kong, Macao and Switzerland. When all is said and done, more than 150,000 students worldwide will eventually be required to analyze the poem.

We’d love to be able to reprint on this blog the poem that students will be asked to analyze, but we can’t without breaching testing security.

“I can’t name the chosen poem since thousands of students have yet to write on and analyze it for their exams,” Davis told us. “The various tests will run throughout the year.”

Davis said he was unsure how his poem became required reading in tests in Europe, Asia and the Middle East after being initially placed on tests in Canada. And he’s still a bit pleasantly mystified about just how the whole process progressed.

“Obviously, I was delighted and surprised that my poem was selected,” Davis said. “I have no idea how the selection process goes and was not told, so the whole thing is a mystery.”

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