Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Parents, Stop the Corporate Takeover of Public Ed … Opt-Out!

Parents, Stop the Corporate Takeover of Public Ed … Opt-Out!:

Parents, Stop the Corporate Takeover of Public Ed … Opt-Out!

EDUCATION POLITICS--Many parents and educators are outraged by the over-testing and misuse of testing that has been embedded in federal policy since the enactment of No Child Left Behind in 2002. No high-performing nation in the world tests every child every year in grades 3-8, as we have since the passage of NCLB.
Young children sit for exams that last up to 15 hours over two weeks. The fate of their teachers rests on their performance. Parents remember taking tests in school that lasted no more than one class period for each subject. Their tests were made by their teachers, not by a multinational corporation. Parents can’t understand how testing became an endurance trial and the goal of education.
Politicians claim that the tests are necessary to inform parents and teachers and the public how children in one state are doing as compared to their peers in other states. But this information is already reported by the federal test, the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). Parents have figured out that the tests don’t serve any purpose other than to rank their child. No one is allowed to see the test questions after the test. No child receives a diagnosis of what they know and don’t know. They receive only a score. In every state, the majority of children have been ranked as “failures” because the testmakers adopted a passing mark that was guaranteed to fail close to 70% of children. Parents have learned that the passing mark is not objective; it is arbitrary. It can be set to pass everyone, pass no one, or pass some percentage of children.
In the past 14 years, parents have seen the destruction of neighborhood schools, based on their test scores. They have seen beloved teachers fired unjustly, because of their students’ test scores. They have seen the loss of time for the arts, physical education, and anything else that is not tested. They have seen a change in their local public schools that they don’t like, as well as a loss of control to federal mandates and state authorities.
In the past, testing companies warned that tests should be used only for the purpose for which they were designed. Now, these corporations willingly sell their tests without warning about misuse. A test of fourth grade reading tests fourth grade reading. It should not be used to rank students, to humiliate students, to fire teachers and principals, or to close schools. But it is.
Communities have been devastated by the closing of their neighborhood schools.
Communities have seen their schools labeled “failing,” based on test scores, and taken over by the state or national corporate charter chains.
Based on test scores, punishments abound: for students, teachers, principals, schools, and communities.
This is madness!
What can we as citizens do to stop the destruction of our children, their schools, and our dedicated educators?
Opt out of the tests.
Use the power of the powerless: Say NO. Do not participate. Withdraw Parents, Stop the Corporate Takeover of Public Ed … Opt-Out!:



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