[Reposting because I forgot to add the link!!! A hazard of age.]
Peter DeWitt, principal of an elementary school in upstate New York, surveys the landscape and sees an educational system that is crushing principals, teachers and children with unreasonable mandates.
Complaints are rising. They are coming from all directions. The current course of “reform” is not sustainable when the object of the reforms reacts with sullen and suppressed rage. There is no joy in this Mudville.
“High stakes testing has gotten out of control. Policymakers, state and federal education departments aren’t on the sidelines. They are making decisions from remote locations. These decisions are coming from people who care more about money and shame than they care about children. Unfortunately, children are the collateral damage in this new test-taking era.
“Education should be about learning, educational resources and building relationships with students and families. It should not be about testing. So many stakeholders do not understand the amount of money that is given privately to companies creating high stakes tests. They hear about money coming from the lottery or from Race to the Top and truly believe that each school district shares in that pot when that is just not true. It takes millions of dollars to pay for tests made by companies and that money could be better invested where it is needed most, which is in our students.
“It’s time for policymakers, politicians and state education departments to wake up and see that the complaints about high stakes testing is not part of an implementation dip, it’s just bad practice. Many states have been giving high stakes testing for almost fifteen years and it has done little to help public education. To keep moving forward with so much collateral damage is educational malpractice on the part of those in charge.