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Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Keystones & Understandably Angry Suburban Parents


 "I think (accountability) was based on a false theory...that test scores are an adequate stand-in for good education. They’re not. You can coach kids to be like trained seals to get higher test scores. That doesn’t mean they’re getting a better education." -Diane Ravitch
We know better and so should our politicians. No parent, urban, suburban, or rural wants their kids "to be trained like seals to get higher test scores."

 In this interview in her home state of Texas, Diane Ravitch talks about angry suburban parents...like us. Texas suburban parents got ticked off and the state scaled back testing & end-of-course exams (Like Pennsylvania's Keystones).
Interviewer: "You mentioned parents getting ticked off. And you’re right. This past legislative session, suburban parents were angry because the new end-of-course exams were messing up their kids’ college applications, and they got a bill passed to scale back testing. But does it give you pause that it was those parents whose voices were heard here, rather than the parents of the disadvantaged kids in the inner city?"
Diane Ravitch: "No. For a long time, suburban parents watched this movement growing and thought it would not touch them. They thought it was only about the inner cities, where these poor minority kids were going to be tested and tested and their schools closed down and handed over to private entrepreneurs. Now it’s beginning to hit the middle class, and the suburban parents don’t like it. They don’t like their kids being over-tested, they want their kids to have a full education. They don’t understand why this is being inflicted on them, so then suddenly you begin to see rallies where you get the affluent parents standing side-by-side with the kids from Houston and Dallas and Austin and other big cities."
We watched this problem fester in our cities and we didn't get it...we just didn't. Now we do. We don't want our schools closed down and handed to private entrepreneurs. That's what the over testing and end-of-course tests are really about. Our kids are not going to be pawns in this game. Their futures are on the line.


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