The State Tests Don't Matter! Wait! What?

by JAC and Ben's Mom 26. March 2015 07:47

As the New York State Grade 3-8 Assessments get closer I hear all kinds of reasons  why parents are STILL in 2015 with Cuomo's war on public schools allowing their kids to take these Common Core tests. One thing I keep hearing is, "I tell my child the tests don't matter". 

They don't matter? Really? 

I always told my kids the truth about the tests. They do matter. They matter a lot. They are flawed, based on an un-piloted curriculum that was not made by educators and designed to fail 70% of kids. It matters that the tests are written 2-3 grade and reading levels above a child’s ability level. It matters that our teachers are great and the tests will fail most of the kids and the teacher’s future will rest on that score. A lot of educators and child development experts consider these tests abusive and are now refusing to participate in this abuse of children. They do not show what my kids know or what their teachers taught. Because the tests are flawed schools do not use them for anything other than rating teachers, they are not even accurate for that. They waste a tremendous amount of money—our taxpayer money –in the school budget that could be used to make class sizes smaller and be used for staffing and learning materials and programs for our kids. They waste weeks of class time for test prep and taking these tests when kids could be engaged in inspiring lessons. They matter to the people and test, tech and publishing companies that make money from their production and data sharing. They matter to those people who use our children for free child labor. They matter to politicians who want to bust unions and dismantle public education. They matter to my kids because they know that for the people that this matters to it is all about money and they get money through data and the data comes through these tests. If they don’t take the tests there is no data. No data, no tests = no money spent on tests, test prep materials, tech to take the tests on. That means more money for the school to spend on teachers, programs and materials and time to spend on learning. The tests matter a lot. They matter to teachers, who are experienced and trained and are no longer allowed to use their experience, creativity or even their own lessons in the classroom. It matters that the one size fits all, teach to the test, testing agenda has sucked the joy out of teaching. It matters that these assessments is to sort children into those that can and those that never will at a very young age. It matters that the sole purpose of these assessments is for someone outside our school to profit from our kids, and to rate our teachers and principals to fire them and close our schools making way for Charter schools. My kids love their school, they love their teachers. We have a lot of fun and pretty events, “window dressing” going on around the district to distract parents from the reality. But it’s there. School is boring, the test prep agenda has made the kids guinea pigs. They want more art, music, science, fun. They know as long as the most important thing to our Administration and Board of Ed is these tests and not the kids, the teachers and the education they are receiving the tests will continue to eat up the school budget and the classroom time until all the enriching clubs, music, art, sports are gone and we are left with tests. All of our best teachers are leaving. They know this is bad for kids. These tests matter to my kids. It matters to my A student that his brother works hard to make honor roll, yet the test fails him. It matters to that brother, that the A student stands up for him and all kids that learn differently and at a different pace. My kids won’t work for Pearson. They are not guinea pigs. They are not cookie cutter kids. I will not allow their teachers to be rated on a cut and manipulated score that could ruin their career. I will not participate in Cuomo’s war on public schools. I will take the only action I can as a parent to advocate for my children and protect my children and their teachers. Refuse the tests. 

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