Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Florida Teacher to School Board: Why My Daughter Will Not Take the State Tests | Diane Ravitch's blog

Florida Teacher to School Board: Why My Daughter Will Not Take the State Tests | Diane Ravitch's blog:

Florida Teacher to School Board: Why My Daughter Will Not Take the State Tests



Andy Goldstein addressed the school board of Palm Beach County, where he teaches, at a recent meeting:
Why My Wife and I Are Opting Out Our Daughter From Third-Grade High-Stakes Testing
Transcript of the original text:
Good evening. My name is Andy Goldstein. I’m a teacher at Omni Middle School and the proud parent of an eight-year-old daughter who attends one of our public elementary schools.
It seems like it was just yesterday when my daughter entered kindergarten. At that time, I talked about her at our August School Board meeting in 2013.
I said that my hopes and dreams for my daughter were that she would develop a lifelong love for learning that would serve her well as she learned to construct a life that would serve her and serve others as well.
I told this board that my wife and I were not particularly interested in having her be seen as a data point for others to make money from.
Now, three short years later, which seem to have gone by in the blink of an eye, she is entering third grade.
Tonight, I’m speaking as a parent, who also is a teacher.
In Florida, third grade is the beginning of high-stakes, standardized testing for our children.
What are the high-stakes?
• Our children, on the basis of one test, will receive a number, a 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5, which, will serve to define them.
Some students, may do well learning throughout the year, but do not test well and may receive a 1, a one being the lowest possible score.
Some may come from disadvantaged backgrounds and will receive a 1.
Some may be special needs students, who receive a 1.
These numbers work to define our students as to whom they are. “I’m a one. I’m a Failure.”
This high-stakes testing policy, mandated by state law, works to stigmatize our students and they grow up with a limiting self-concept of who they are and what they are capable of doing and becoming.
• On the basis of this one high-stakes test, some schools—those Florida Teacher to School Board: Why My Daughter Will Not Take the State Tests | Diane Ravitch's blog:

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