Friday, August 24, 2012

Join the Anti-Testing Movement - Why High Stakes Testing is Bad News for Students, Parents and Teachers

Michelle Rhee would look
much better like this.
Oh, why the duct tape? 
Here's why.
Hypocritcal b****.
In discussing three things that parents should worry about with high stakes testing, Valerie Strauss makes some very good, logical arguments.  I would add to her list the disconcerting fact that parents are not informed about their children's areas of strengths and deficiencies.  Now, many years ago, we took tests once a year, and we found out that we were 97% in spacial relations and 58% in listening comprehension, for instance.  Parents could do something with this information.  Now, parents are told, your child is a 2 in math and a 3 in ELA.  Well, what are they supposed to do with this?  How do you know where the problems are?  How do you know what skills your child needs to work on?  Answer: you don't.  What possible use is this test for the students and parents?  Answer: none.  It is completely not for the parents, and not for the students.  And there is an increasingly large amount of time spent on the actual tests, and a full-time push to prep for this test.  In other words, your child goes to school in order to rate his or her teacher, and that is it.  All parents should be extremely concerned. 

"If It was About the Children..." is a structure for a great article by Matthew L. Mandel, which exposes the artifice of the "reformers".  It is amazing how many people fall for these pundits who have little to no experience.  Some of my favorite lines from the article are:

  • These same politicians would be as incensed by children in their state having inadequate nourishment, dental, vision, and medical care as they are about whether same-sex partners have a right to be married.  
  • Academic historians like Diane Ravitch wouldn’t be labeled “traitors” because they no longer support business-model reforms. An intellectual, not a politician, Ravitch lets research and outcomes influence her conclusions. What a novel idea.
  • If it were about children, those who judge me would be able to do my job—today—not just be able to read a book in front of the cameras.
  •  if it were about children, teachers would be respected partners in any dialogue on necessary reforms. In what other profession are practitioners in the field given so little respect for their knowledge, insights, and contributions?

Go, Matthew!  I love it when someone says what I wanted to say with such elan!  Such lies and distortions that the education "deformers" shill don't hold up to thoughtful scrutiny, which is in short supply lately.

EDITOR'S NOTE:  In a exceptional case of synergy, the amazing NORM SCOTT just published an article about parents demanding to see the test results.  I love it!


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