A reader posted this AP story about parent support for standardized testing and the Common Core. If you read the story carefully, it shows that parents have no idea how test results are being misused and are unfamiliar with the Common Core. The headline says parents support “high-stakes testing,” but nothing in the story supports that assertion.

One parent quote in the story below thinks the test results are used diagnostically, which would be appropriate: ““The tests are good be­cause they show us where students are at, if they need help with anything,” said Vicky Nevarez, whose son Jesse just grad­uated from high school in Murrieta, Calif. “His teachers were great and if there were problems, the tests let me know.”

Parents think that the test results will be used to help their child do better. They don’t realize that the results are not available for months, when their child no longer has the same teacher. Nor do they know that neither the teacher nor the student is allowed to see the test questions after the test, so they never learn what they got wrong and where they need to improve.

A thoughtful poll would reveal, I suspect, that parents know that the teacher is not the sole determinant of their child’s test scores. Even President Obama once opined that one of his daughters got a low test score in science because she wasn’t trying hard enough. He didn’t blame her teacher; he said Malia was “slacking off.” He said, ““But even in our own household, with all the privileges and opportunities we have, there are times when the kids slack off. There are times when they would rather be watching TV or playing a computer game than hitting the books.’’ In the school his daughters attend, teachers write their own tests, which is the way it should be.

How would parents react if they knew that the tests are not used to help their child, but to give her a rating and to rate the teacher and the school How would they respond if they knew that their child’s score would be used to fire her teacher or close her school?

Here is the story. If anyone can find the questions, please send a link or the questions.

Posted by a reader:

New poll: Parents back high-stakes testing

“By Philip Elliott and Jennifer Agiesta

Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Often criticized as too prescrip­tive and all-consuming, standardized tests have support among parents, who view them as a useful way to measure both stu­dents’ and schools’ perfor­mances, according to an Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll. Most parents also say their own children are given about the right number of standardized tests, according to the AP­NORC poll. They’d like to see stu­dent performance on statewide exams used in evaluating teachers, and almost three-quarters said they favored changes that would make it easier for schools to fire poorly performing teachers. “The tests are good be­cause they show us where students are at, if they need help with anything,” said Vicky Nevarez, whose son Jesse just grad­uated from high school in Murrieta, Calif. “His teachers were great and if there were problems, the tests let me know.”

The polling results are good news for states look­ing to implement in­creased accountability standards and for those who want to hold teachers responsible for students’ slipping standing against other countries’ scores. Teachers’ unions have ob­jected to linking educa­tors’ evaluations to stu­dent performance.

As students prepare to return to classrooms, the AP-NORC Center sur­veyed parents of students at all grade levels and found:

» Sixty-one percent of parents think their chil­dren take an appropriate number of standardized tests and 26 percent think their children take too many tests.

» Teachers’ fates shouldn’t rest solely on test results, according to a majority of parents. Fifty­six percent said class­room observations should be part of teachers’ evalu­ations, and 74 percent of all parents said they want­ed districts to help strug­gling teachers.

» Despite many Re­publicans’ unrelenting criticism of the Common Core State Standards, in various stages of imple­mentation in 45 states and the District of Columbia, 52 percent parents have heard little or nothing about the academic benchmarks and a third are unsure if they live in a state using them. Still, when given a brief de­scription of what the stan­dards do, about half of parents say educational quality will improve once the standards are imple­mented, 11 percent think it will get worse, and 27 per­cent say they’ll have no ef­fect.

» Seventy-five per­cent of parents say stan­dardized tests are a solid measure of their chil­dren’s abilities, and 69 percent say such exams are a good measure of the schools’ quality. “We know when the tests are coming up. They spend a lot of time getting ready for them,” said Rod­ney Land of Lansing, Mich. His daughter, Selena, will be in eighth grade at a charter school this fall. The weights-and-mea­sures inspector supports the testing because “it shows what they know, and what they should know.”

“We need some way to keep track of whether the teachers are spending enough time educating,” Land said.

“Education union lead­ers have stood opposed to linking teacher evalua­tions with these tests, ar­guing it is unfair to punish teachers for students’ shortcomings. They also say teachers have not had sufficient time to rewrite their lessons to reflect new academic bench­marks, such as those found in the Common Core.

“When states have adopted the Common Core State Standards, which aim to provide con­sistent requirements across all states for math and English, test results often falter and the stan­dards can make schools and teachers appear to be faring worse than they did the previous year.”