Tuesday, April 14, 2015

What If? What If Every Parent Opted Out Their Child from the State Tests

What if every parent said, "My child is not taking the test"?

What if everyone said, "No, thank you, I'd rather not"?

The message would resound from one corner of the nation to the others. It would be heard by the Congress, now about to impose another seven years of annual testing on the nation's children, even though no high-performng nation in the world tests every child every year. It would be heard by the President, who says teachers should not teach to the test, but that teachers who can't produce high test scores don't belong in the classroom. It would be heard by Arne Duncan, who said that testing is taking the joy out of learning, but nonetheless insists that every child take the test every year, no excuses. It would be heard by governors and legislators. They would hear the voice of the people. This is what democracy sounds like.

And what then? Teachers would be judged by their peers and supervisors, not by test scores. Teachers would write their own tests, to see whether children learned what they were taught. Standardized tests would be used sparingly, preferably on a sampling basis. Students would have time to explore, time to play, time to read, time to experiment, time to learn without test prep and interim assessments, without fear and anxiety. Pearson would have to reduce its profits for the year. 

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