Sunday, February 23, 2014

Is it Time to Just Say NO?

(disclaimer: the following views are entirely my own)

In reviewing my twitter feed yesterday morning, I came across several articles objecting to "Ed Reform," (what does that term really mean in 2014?), high-stakes testing, Common Core and RTTT.  In reading the articles, it repeatedly struck me, none of this benefit kids. Isn't that the point of education - to benefit kids? 

What if we simplified our local, state and national education agenda instead to state, "The mission of public education is to ensure all students graduate with a love for lifelong learning?'

How would that change what is happening with educational policies?

Immediately, we would have to do away with high-stakes testing. All the money going into the pockets of the "common core aligned" textbook, curriculum and testing publishers could be diverted to local schools to support whatever it takes to promote a love of learning.

One term we hear repeated is evidence-based practice. How does high-stakes testing support evidence-based practice? How does high-stakes testing promote individual student's love for learning? If you have evidence, please leave it in the comments section. I imagine there will be crickets....

We may feel helpless and hopeless when considering the billions supporting a move away from what is in the best interests of kids. But I have a proposal:

It is time to OPT OUT of the field tests.

It's time to just say "No!" This spring, the PARCC and SBA tests are undergoing field testing. What if we all unite and JUST SAY NO? Why should the testing publishers have free access to our students with no benefit to the students themselves? Compliance never produces anything positive. Isn't it all about critical thinking and analysis, problem-solving and innovation?

It is time to OPT OUT of the field tests.

The PARCC website states, "The PARCC Field Test represents a critical milestone in PARCC's work toward building assessment for the 2014-2015 school year and will give students and local educators the opportunity to experience the administration of PARCC assessments. The Field Test will be conducted in a random selection of schools across PARCC states."

What if we just say no, we don't want our students to experience the administration of PARCC assessments? Where is the benefit for our students?

It is time to OPT OUT of the field tests.

Let's stand up for our students for a change.

Thoughts? Please RT this if you believe this is possible.

Articles that were tweeted by others yesterday:

Statements by CAST about high-stakes testing
Common Core is Tough on Kids with Special Needs
Does CommonCore's focus on close reading make sense?
Boasts about Common Core Aligned Textbooks a Sham
Common Core: Education Without Representation

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