Bianca Tanis, who is a parent, a teacher, and a leader of the opt out movement, warns of the dangers of the tests that start next week.

 

 

She writes:

 

 

The New York State Common Core tests are almost upon us and promises of sweeping changes to NYS tests and standards are rampant. The NYS Education Department is urging parents to opt back in and the media has reported that education officials are “bending over backwards” to address the concerns of parents and educators.

 

While the State has made some minor changes to this year’s tests (and promises more in the future), the fact remains that young children will still be subjected to reading passages years above grade level, test questions with more than one plausible answer, tests that are too long, waste valuable resources, and worst of all, tests that engender feelings of frustration, failure, angst, and confusion in our youngest learners.

 

Manufactured Crisis

 

Claims that untimed tests will alleviate stress on children are unfounded and misleading to parents. Giving a child more time to struggle with an inappropriate test rather than just fixing the flawed system is misguided and will create a logistical nightmare for the schools forced to accommodate this band-aid solution. Teachers will be pulled from classrooms to monitor student conversations during lunch breaks to ensure that 8-, 9-, and 10-year old students are not talking about the tests. At a time when our schools are being starved of funding, this is a gross and needless misallocation of resources.

 

In fact, very little has changed for children, and these damaging tests continue to threaten our children now and into the future. How much damage? A quarter million students are being labeled, annually, as failures. The transition to “college-ready” graduation requirements in 2022 will result in the loss of more than 100,000 graduates per year. Use this calculator to assess the impact on your school district: http://tiny.cc/DistrictCCR.

 

Unless we demand an immediate paradigm shift, many students will not only be labeled failures at 8-, 9-, and 10-years old, they will not graduate. We are not just talking about struggling students and students with special needs facing a graduation crisis.