High stakes testing is quite the issue, isn’t it? I have opted my children out of these tests for years and encouraged other parents to do the same. I am always puzzled by the reluctance to do so. I worry about how teachers are silenced, bullied, managed by intimidation to keep them from speaking out against these tests.
Teachers know what their students know. Teachers know how their students learn. Teachers collect relevant data every single day. They study it and make adjustments in lesson plans and design to make sure their students are learning what they need to learn. And they know this without reviewing high stakes test scores. Teachers know how precious every minute of the school day is. They know how much money is spent on these tests (buying the tests, scoring the tests, reporting the results of the tests, proctoring the test) and how that money could be better spent to support students. They live with the irony of administrators cutting valuable recess time so they can add minutes to instructional time that wouldn’t even be necessary if the students didn’t have to take these tests. They also know how much time is taken away from teaching the stuff that really matters.
I could certainly share my own teaching and parenting experiences with this ridiculous testing nightmare in today’s post. I will save those rants for another occasion. The links embedded in this paragraph are The Word on this topic, the voices of those with courage enough to protest and speak out. Take time to follow the links as each is very compelling and I made it really easy for you. Two of the three are short, but powerful, videos. I celebrate the revolution that is now taking shape, the protests that are being organized. I congratulate students in Bloomington-Normal, Il and in other states. I applaud teachers who bravely speak out. I am proud of the parents who opt their kids out openly and unashamedly. So yeah, what they said.
May the movement continue to grow. May it get louder and louder. May reason finally reign.