As you may know, there has been growing parent dissatisfaction about the amount of testing that their children are subjected to.
initially, the tests and test prep increased because officials wanted to measure student growth on tests.
Then, the testing increased because officials want to measure teacher quality.
From the vantage of parents, the school day and year are increasingly devoted to testing, not teaching.
Just weeks ago, students sat for the annual spring testing. Now, in New York state, there will be testing in June, but this time it will be a field test, part of the testing company’s trials of its test items.
When parents got wind that there would be more tests in June, and that the tests were for the benefit of Pearson, several parent groups began organizing boycotts. After all, neither the school nor the teachers would be penalized if students didn’t take the field tests, so it is an opportune time to opt out and make a statement.
Last week, the New York State Education Department sent out a memo instructing teachers that they must not tell students that the June tests are field tests. They must pretend that it is a real test.
Parents were aghast that the State Education Department would tell teachers to lie to students.
I’m beginning to sense a trend. Once the public understands that all this testing is counter-productive, that it steals time from instruction, that it has become an end and not a means, the game will change. The bureaucrats are hunkering down. But once the tide turns, there will be no going back.