The movement to slow down or stop or reverse high-stakes testing is moving forward at a rapid pace. This past week, the Houston Independent School Board endorsed a resolution opposing the overuse and misuse of standardized tests (http://blog.chron.com/k12zone/2012/05/hisd-joins-anti-testing-movement/). The resolution has now been endorsed by about 450 school boards in Texas, representing nearly half the state’s students.
The Texas resolution picked up steam after Robert Scott, the state commissioner of education, blasted the misuse of tests earlier this year. He said that testing had grown into the “be-all, end-all” of education and had become “the heart of the vampire.”(http://goo.gl/Az246)
Scott stepped down recently but it turns out that he spoke for vast numbers of Texans who are sick and tired of the tests that now control education and children’s lives.
Parents in Florida are now on board the anti-testing train, as are parents in New York.(http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303505504577406603829668714.html?mod=WSJ_hp)
New parent organizations opposed to high-stakes testing seem to be forming in many cities and states.
I recently posed a question on Twitter that is relevant to this development. I asked, what happens in your district if children vomit while taking the test? I got many answers from teachers about the policy in their district. In some, the test must be placed in a plastic baggie and preserved. In others, the child must immediately retake the test. There were all sorts of variations on what to do when test anxiety causes a child to lose his or her breakfast.
Test anxiety is only part of the problem. Pineapplegate opened a national discussion about the quality of the tests and why they are used to decide the fate of children and their teachers.