Sunday, April 27, 2014

Why We Chose to Opt Out | Jason Endacott

Why We Chose to Opt Out | Jason Endacott:

Why We Chose to Opt Out

Posted: Updated: 


 Thousands of children in our state are headed into schools today to take standardized tests mandated by the federal government under No Child Left Behind. Our fourth grade son won't be one of them.

Opting your children out of standardized tests is a very personal decision, and one that has been far more difficult to make than we originally thought it would be. There has been a lot of attention given in the media lately to children who won't be taking standardized tests and the parents who have chosen to opt them out. In response to this attention, those who have the most to gain from high stakes testing have begun to push back, even chastising parents for their personal choices.
Today's post is dedicated to explaining the personal decision we made to opt our son out of standardized testing. In writing this I don't hope to convince you to opt your own children out of future testing. In fact, that's why I waited until today to post this, to provide some food for future thought.
I'm an educator, an academic and a parent. In the current climate of education in the U.S. I have very little power over my kids' education in any of these three roles. As an educator I have watched politicians, corporations and wealthy philanthropists take more and more control over K-12 schools. No Child Left Behind, Race to the Top, and the Common Core State Standards are all examples of how education is guided by those with wealth and power rather than those with wealth of knowledge.
No Child Left Behind started us down this path in 2002 by tying federal money to standardized tests. Give the tests or lose out on millions in Title I funds that go to schools with the neediest children. President Obama used the billions of dollars that were part of his Race to the Top to program to double down on NCLB by enticing Why We Chose to Opt Out | Jason Endacott: