This morning, parent groups in New York City are leading a protest against high-stakes testing at the headquarters of Pearson. They call their action “a field trip against field tests.” It happens to be a professional development day, so many parents plan to bring their children. Half a dozen different parent groups are coordinating their plans. Among other planned highlights of the demonstration, there will be a marching band!
They hope to inspire parents in other cities and across the nation.
The parents are demonstrating against the Pearson field tests that will be administered in schools across the city and the state this month, wasting another day of instruction to help develop test items for future tests. Pearson needs the field tests for its purposes but the parents don’t want to see more time spent on testing to prepare for more testing.
Yesterday parent activists discovered that Pearson had created a Facebook page called “Parents Kids & Testing.” They began bombarding the site with their comments, which disappeared as soon as they were posted. One parent wrote that her comment was still up, after thirty-six minutes, “maybe they are sleeping,” but soon wrote to say that it was gone. Soon there was a contest to rename the Pearson Facebook page, and one suggestion was “The Black Hole,” to identify the fact that any dissident comments would soon be gone. So many of the Parent Voices continued the game, posting their comments of outrage and watching a faceless person on Facebook delete them.
Another parent soon made the connection from Pearson to Students First, and she recounted her Twitter exchange with that group, which was purposely confusing “learner-centered” education (computer instruction) with “child-centered” education (engagement of the teacher with children’s individual needs and interests).
“Is it wrong that I’m a little excited to have more Pearson b.s. to debunk?
In a similar vein, I just picked a fight with @studentsfirst on Twitter re an article they Tweeted on “learner-centered” education. Not to be confused with CHILD-centered education, which presupposes the humanity of both the student and the teacher, learner-centered education replaces teachers with computers that can deliver “individualized” content. http://gettingsmart.com/news/digital-learning-is-critical-for-move-to-learner-centered-instruction/ I mean….REALLY? How could I not?