PA's phony test scores & why opting out matters
If you can read this, be prepared to weep as you see who is ruining public education for our kids...
Read more here.
In Pennsylvania, the buzz has been about the results of the new "rigorous" PSSA & Keystone Exams. The Keystone State Education Coalition , Diane Ravitch , and Peter Greene all reported that scores have dropped. Wonder why?
"Besides making the tests harder, the State Board of Education also recently voted to change scoring metrics, raising the bar on which scores constitute a proficient rating, meaning a passing grade."
In plain language, what the State Board of Education did was tell schools and kids how high to jump, then tell them it wasn't high enough. You bet they are going to blame teachers and schools. That is why it is so important that you understand what cut scores are. Read more here.
"It's like a high jumper who is told 6 feet is the height he has to obtain to win: He jumps 6 feet and is considered a winner and then he is later told that that height is now suddenly 7 feet so he's a loser," (Bethlehem Area Superintendent) Joseph Roy said. "Even if he jumped 6 1/2 feet the next year, is he a non-proficient high jumper? Even if he improved over the past standard?" Roy said he can't understand the state's attitude on testing. "Who benefits from the obsession with standardized testing? Parents don't care for it, teachers know it distorts teaching and learning in negative ways, and students with overall good academic records will be denied graduation," he said."
It is time to call them on their numbers game and reclaim education for our children.
So these cut scores, in the end, are decided with little teacher input. Don't think that 58 teachers on one committee and TWO on the final committee represent all teachers. The Board of Education should consist of people who are experts on public education, right? Read the list of PA Board of Education members here. Not many have education backgrounds aside from having been students.
"The board of education is distinct from the department of education. It is made up of 22 gubernatorial appointees who serve six-year terms." They are all appointed, so basically parents have very little say in the education of our children.
So how do parents tell politicians that we do not appreciate our kids being used to create data that isn't even valid or reliable) that rates schools and teachers? There is only one choice for parents who want a voice, and that is to utilize our right to opt out. If we could simply go to the polls and vote on education issues directly, I am very confident that parents and grandparents would flood the booths to pull the lever that screamed, "NO!" No more wasting the educational time of our kids, no more standardization, no more identifying children as "basic" or "proficient." They are human beings and cannot be quantified or standardized.
The joke is on us. We must consider using the only voice they have given us - a polite and respectful opt out, or we are also pawns in their game.
Click here for an easy opt out guide.