Perhaps you are tired of the discussions about standardized testing, or perhaps your child hasn't yet been subjected to the joys of your state tests. You may wonder why this even matters. If you have been keeping an eye on the President-elect's cabinet choices you have surely noted that the nominee for our next Secretary of Education wants to put an end to our locally controlled public schools.
The standardized tests of the past 20 years or so are not the same as the ones many parents (like myself) took when we were in school. Today's tests are high stakes for many reasons, including using test scores to "prove" schools are "failing". One can turn to our urban schools to see how test scores are used to close schools and offer the illusion of "choice" through charter schools... even when parents/tax payers don't want their school handed over to a charter school chain.
What will people who want to get their hands on suburban tax dollars do to to fulfill their goals? Step one has been to continue to make the state standardized tests more confusing, longer, and absolutely mentally draining on the kids. I have written about this here and here.
And if the test companies can't write enough poorly written test questions to get suburban district scores down, there are sure to be other attacks on our locally controlled public schools... like this one.
Consider previewing your child's state tests this year. In Pennsylvania you simply need to set up an appointment with the school and you can see the entire litany of tests that will suck up weeks of instructional time.
Parents can only make our voices heard in one way that can be measured and reported.
To show politicians that we want to keep our public schools locally controlled, opt out.
And if you want to know what is being planned when they phase out high stakes tests, read this post on stealth testing. Your kids are already dipping their toes in the pool of the misleadingly named "personalized learning" through sites like Achieve 3000, Dream Box, Khan Academy and others.
It is time for parents to tell our elected officials that we demand a voice in our children's public education.