Thursday, November 5, 2015

CURMUDGUCATION: NY: The Anti-Opt Out Propaganda Kit

CURMUDGUCATION: NY: The Anti-Opt Out Propaganda Kit:

NY: The Anti-Opt Out Propaganda Kit

New York, you may recall, was Ground Zero for the hugest impact of the Opt Out movement, with around one in five New York students choosing not to take last year's Big Standardized Test. But New York's ed department is ready to fight back, because reasons. And to do that, they have created a handy "toolkit," much like the handy toolkits that the American Tobacco Instituteused to provide for informing the public about the benefits of smoking.

It's just an awesome piece of work, and I will hit the highlights now for those of you lacking the time or stomach to see for yourselves. It has many cool features, so this may take a while.

Video Welcome from Your Fearless Leader 

NY Commissioner MaryEllen Elia is here-- well, she's somewhere, in front of a curtain, sitting next to a small table holding a magazine and a potted plant. It is quite possibly the laziest staging of anything ever, and I shouldn't care because presentation isn't that big a deal here, except that this is Intro To Test Propaganda, which means that we ought to be aware of what we're doing. Simply shooting it in her office would have been fine. Shooting it while standing in any random setting would have been fine. But this-- somebody clearly thought that it needed some kind of staging, but then all they could come up with was a table and a potted plant, oh, and hey, hand me that catalog over there.

I mean, this whole site is a presentation about making a presentation to win hearts and minds. So either this "set" demonstrates a lack of commitment or a lack of competence, and that is not a good way to set the tone for this enterprise.

So what does she actually say? Last years 20% of students didn't take that awesome BS Tests; her response is to explain to parents and teachers "about the benefits" of high standards and ditto tests. Also, the annual test doesn't tell the entire story, but they do provide a roadmap for teachers and school leaders to focus on so they can improve.

But if students don't take the BS Test, everyone from students up through state policy makers "miss out" on crucial information, 
CURMUDGUCATION: NY: The Anti-Opt Out Propaganda Kit: