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Too much testing. Kids are people, not numbers


danielae March 13, 2013

Does anyone else have a school in Long Island, NY that has already been teaching to the test for the past month? We have had little in the way of social studies and science because there is such an emphasis on the math and ELA work. In addition, there's no time for field trips, projects, plays or other fun while you learn things.

We are starting to band parents together to protest the testing format. Grading teachers based on a child's performance on one test is crazy. How the kids do over the course of the year is what matters. Of course, now there is a standardized test to measure that as well. If administrators were popping their heads in the classes unannounced and sitting in on lessons regularly, there would be a much better assessment of the teacher's work.
Not all kids will excel in math and reading. Some will be musicians, artists, performers, mechanics, garbage men, custodial engineers, mailcarriers, etc. all of which are critical jobs in our society. They are valuable even if they aren't getting "3's" on the state assessment test.

What I'd like to know is how can we get the teachers back into using their training to educate kids in their classes based on the individual needs of those kids? They are the ones in the trenches, yet no one is asking them how to better serve the student population.

Any help, insight or guidance is appreciated.

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MagnetMom March 13, 2013

Hi danielae,

You might find that teachers are your strongest allies on this matter. School districts across the country are implementing test upon test to collect data. Districts even want to base teachers' salaries and their reviews based on the way kids test each year. Can you imagine the pressure?

So it's little wonder that the kids are prepped to the test. And it's not just where you are. I'm in Los Angeles, and it happens here too. In fact, it's been happening for a month, and the kids won't take our state tests for over a month.

There has been a bit of push back, though. Some teachers and parents are pushing back. Seattle boycotted the test.

Here's an article:

Maybe that can get you started. Good luck and let us know what happens.


TeacherParent March 21, 2013

Few if any teachers like the standardized state testing - they are doing this by their choice. The public rightfully demanded more accountability from schools and politicians came up with the No Child Left Behind Act. You can google it.
The teachers and the school are judged on the basis of those tests so it's important to them but it does not serve the children well.

The reason that no one is asking teachers what to do is a complicated matter. The NEA - National Education Association - is the second largest union in the country (whose name rather hides the fact that it is a union)
And every time legislators ask teachers what's needed, they the same answers - more money, higher salaries (which is more money) and better benefits.

Never once have either of the teachers' unions - there are two - asked for smaller class size. Never once have either of the teachers' unions supported any movement for educational reform. The No Child Left Behind Act was passed over their screaming objections and if your state allows charter schools know that was passed over their screaming objections as well. Charter schools give families a choice of schools - what could be wrong with that?
The unions don't want competition and neither of the teachers' unions have served American families well. When more money is directed to a school, nothing changes. Higher salaries have not brought better education.
There are many splinter groups out there protesting the standardized testing but it seems here to stay at least for now. My state does allow charter schools and families are fleeing their local school and enrolling their children in charter schools.
Please know I am a teacher but one who dropped out of the teachers' union quite a while ago - the union seemed to be running the teachers rather than teachers running the union.

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