I am still amazed, despite daily evidence, that in our country we hate science and research so much. We must! We run headlong toward false thinking and take up actions that are continually proven counterproductive and harmful. We do this in our food and lifestyle choices and in our use and choice of energy sources, but nowhere is this willfully ignorant avoidance of logic and research more clear than in our methods of education accountability.
Standardized testing is not new. I took the Iowa and California Achievement Tests as a child and I am 40. The SAT has been around since the 1920s according to Petersons.com. What is different now is the way testing is used. Where as in the past, testing was used as a general litmus test to get an idea for how well a school and its students were doing in comparison to schools and students elsewhere, now it has become a hard bar that determines student placement, teacher compensation, and the distribution of school resources. The problem here, is that while we may be getting better at testing, colleges and businesses are noticing an incoming workforce that is woefully unprepared to contribute to society.
With all of the money spent on testing, you would think that teachers would receive powerful information about students’ progress that would help them in to provide lessons that meet the needs of our students. You would think this, but you would be wrong. Despite the fact that the majority of Florida FSA testing will be computerized, the results will, in fact, be reported even later in the year than in the past. This means teachers did not get the results before school was out, and by the time the results are released, students will have had several months of learning. So what is this really reporting? (http://www.orlandosentinel.com/features/education/school-zone/os-fsa-scores-school-grades-release-post.html)
I would like all politicians to understand that testing is not teaching. It is highly disruptive to the environment of the entire school by creating a level of anxiety and drain on resources that is inexcusable. But don’t believe me, check out the video below.
These parents in New York are done with this. Would that parents all over the nation would stand up as well. Parents have tremendous power, but they do not know it. You don’t have to home school or even leave traditional public schools. You do have to make your voice heard. Call your state legislators. Call your local board. Ask questions, and opt out!