As the school year forges on, high stakes testing remains a constant topic of discussion. Across New York State, students, educators and parents continue to struggle with Common Core. Opposition to the standards continues to grow right alongside looming PARCC and field testing. So, I beg the question, have our state officials somehow forgotten that they are public servants? Our school districts are drowning in oceans of testing and the latest news we receive is talk of mandatory field testing? I view this as a slap in the face. What happened to advocating for the children?
Why are NYS officials making decisions that hurt students and aim to benefit huge corporations like Pearson? The state education department cannot require students to participate in field testing for the benefit of Pearson. Students cannot be forced to volunteer. People normally get paid for participation. I reject Ken Wagner's recent statements which attempt to explain the importance of district participation. I actually find it mind blowing. Our students should be mandated to take a test that tests the tests. Yes, that's right. Districts should have their students do so for free, so Pearson can use the data to make their tests supposedly better. Really?
I say this: Preserve the countless hours of lost classroom instruction and make some different decisions. Let's see some real policies implemented that will serve our students and teachers well. We need policies that drastically reduce testing. Oh and by the way, for those who are doubting, it is very high stakes. Imagine the enormous amount of pressure that is being placed on students, especially our younger ones and our Special Education population. It's very sad indeed. Help protect today's students and refuse to participate in field testing and high stakes testing. Unfortunately, this seems to be the most prevalent way to send the message loud and clear to our education department.