Should parents take their kids out of the education testing race?


Bunch of opposite-editorial page articles say states ought to get off the testing treadmill, do some real walking instead.  Is it a national movement?

One of these pieces explained:

For example, Tim Slekar, a professor of education in Pennsylvania, opted his son Luke out of his state’s tests last school year to “make my community aware and to try and enlighten them of the real issues.” This parent and professor’s plea is simple and forceful: “Stop treating my child as data! He’s a great kid who loves to learn. He is not a politician’s pawn in a chess game designed to prove the inadequacy of his teachers and school.”

If it’s not a national movement, should it be?

List of Op-Eds which support opting out of the state test in order to save the public schools:

http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/oped/bs-ed-school-testing-20110825,0,7660909.story

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/timothy-d-slekar/public-schools-are-not-ne_b_943803.html

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/08/28/1011377/-Empty-Test-Chair-by-Empty-Test-Chair

http://www.examiner.com/education-reform-in-baltimore/opt-out-or-give-up-resistance-shades-of-grey

http://pegwithpen.blogspot.com/2011/09/why-opt-out-of-state-test-better.html

http://www.realhartford.org/2011/08/31/back-to-school-guide-reclaiming-your-childs-education-22/

http://liukarama.typepad.com/empowermagazine/2011/08/back-to-school-advice-opt-out-of-standardized-tests.html

http://www.cnn.com/2011/US/03/20/pennsylvania.school.testing/index.html

http://blogs.edweek.org/teachers/teacher_in_a_strange_land/2011/09/opting_out.html

http://www.marionbrady.com/articles/Orlando_Sentinel_Column/arts.html

http://www.newdemocracyworld.org/old/shove.htm

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/08/28/1011377/-Empty-Test-Chair-by-Empty-Test-Chair

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/timothy-d-slekar/i-am-more-than-a-test-sco_b_921279.html

http://www.edubiquity.org/?p=110

When parents choose to get their kids out of the test, do the kids know why, and do they develop any greater love for learning?  If so, I’m for it.

But, parents, don’t take your kid out, so your kid can sit in my class wasting his time, my time, and other students’ time, saying “I don’t have to learn this stuff.”

_____________

Much more detail on the issue and events at Real Hartford.

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One Response to Should parents take their kids out of the education testing race?

  1. Kate says:

    I have a real problem with the plethora of tests my kids take. Mind you, I wouldn’t mind them having finals and midterms and maybe every three or so years taking a standardized test to see where they do against kids nationally, but between all the different kinds of tests here that are used mostly to grade schools and teachers, it seems that too much of the year is geared towards “test prep” and too little to learning the topic.

    I’d love to opt my kids out of the tests, and let them do something useful with the time, like read a good book, or go to a museum, or take a hike.

    And I’d rather not have the state assume that my kids’ test performance, for better or ill, is the criteria by which their teachers will be paid, their schools funded, and future programing determined.

    I’ve taught in schools where science and social studies (which weren’t tested for at those grade levels) were treated as “electives” and taken twice a week for a single period, so that math and English could be taught as double periods… and I feel that we did those kids a grave disservice in doing that.

    I make no bones with my kids that I hate the tests, and they know exactly why. They also know which tests they need to advance themselves, and that sometimes taking those tests don’t say a darn thing about their education.

    Like

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