We’ve been hearing about this book for a while now and a few of us decided to read it. We would highly advise that ALL of you who are concerned with Common Core and the federal reforms, purchase the book ASAP. Yes, it’s that good.
We will feature some excerpts from the book. However it’s important to read the book in its entirety to get a clear picture of how we ended up with Common Core in our classrooms.
The author goes through the history of reforming public education and what has led us to Common Core.
Here is an excerpt about the Common Core assessments. Make sure every parent knows this……
“Although the words assessments and tests are often used interchabgeably, it is important to realize that assessments measure behavioral changes moving from one point to another with a goal in mind, e.g., how much further was Johnny able to run in a minute from last year to this? Tests measure acquisition of knowledge with a right or wrong answer, e.g., what is the capital of the State of Kansas? Most activities called testing in schools are actually assessments. They do not determine how much or what someone knows. They measure how far Johnny has moved along a pedetermed set of behavioral outcomes.”
In other words, these assessments mean nothing to parents who want to know if their children are proficient in math, science, etc.
The best thing you can do as a parent is have your child take the CAT test. They’re $25.00 delivered to your door. They’re not cc aligned. Then you’ll know where your child is actually at and can make an informed decision unlike the state assessments and the curriculum which are convoluted.
We posted a form you could download to use when informing the school you are REFUSING the Common Core Standardized tests.
We liked this one from a parent so much, we decided to POST it incase you’d like to use it too.
Teacher and Principal,
Please accept this letter as notice that we are refusing to have our CHILD, participate in any standardized testing that has been designed and constructed by anyone outside of the SCHOOL District, including the MAP tests, NAEP, NWEA, STAR and any additional similar or replacement tests such as SMARTER BALANCED. We are asking that you provide STUDENT with alternative, useful, and meaningful learning experiences during testing periods so that she may continue to learn and grow while other students are engaged in taking these exams. If you are unable to provide an alternate activity, we request that STUDENT be allowed to read silently during testing time or use the time to do schoolwork. We can also keep STUDENT home as an excused absence during testing that will take longer periods of time.
Our primary objection to these tests is their negative impact on children. Students are being used as fodder in a system that takes their time and talents, and risks their self-esteem in a misguided and inappropriate effort to evaluate teachers. It is our belief that these tests can provide no more accurate and meaningful data on teacher effectiveness than that which you, as their supervisor, could and should provide.
Also, we question the construction and usefulness of these tests. We are of the opinion that a good teacher can evaluate a child better and more accurately than a standardized test. We believe that it is unethical for both teachers and students that the tests are correlated to teacher evaluations.
Finally, but no less significant, we want to make clear that our decision to refuse testing for STUDENT is not a condemnation of teachers or an act of aggression against SCHOOL. We hope our efforts will be understood in the context in which they are intended: to support the quality of instruction promoted by the school, and to advocate for what is best for all children. We believe that you can provide students with an excellent education without the “help” of corporations that are more interested in money than in the well-being of our children. It is our belief that those corporations will only go away if they are starved of resources in the form of student data. Our hope is that our refusal to have STUDENT participate in the use of their products will help return public education to the trust of valued professionals. As we said to you on the phone and by email, we miss the days when teachers had more time for instruction instead of being forced to spend so much time administering and preparing for tests.
We appreciate your understanding of our position regarding STUDENT’s participation in these tests.
Residents Continue to Question Smarter Balanced Testing
April 10th, 2014
By Jay Hobson
Londonderry resident Laura El-Azem asked the school board for a status update on a waiver of the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) testing that is scheduled for next year.
The tests replace the New England Common Assessment Program (NECAP).
Superintendent Nathan Greenberg told El-Azem at the Tuesday, April 1 School Board meeting, that the waiver is moving ahead.
“It’s going to be part of a waiver proposal that the state is putting in to the federal government, so we think we’re in pretty good shape on that,” he said. “What we are going to be doing next year is Ready Step in grade 8, Ready Step in grade 9, and Pre SATs in grade 10 and in grade 11. My guess is our proposal stands an outstanding chance of being approved by the federal government.”
Read more here: Residents Continue to Question Smarter Balanced Testing