Have you seen the clip from the Stephen Colbert's Report yet? (You can find it here.) Kind of sums up how I feel about Common Core and the testing procedures. He just doesn't swear as much as I do when I talk about them. Because they are completely &#$*%@* ridiculous.
Essentially, students have to stop learning in about March or earlier, so the teachers can start teaching the test. Curriculum and routines are disrupted so they can concentrate on test preparation. According to the Coalition for a Better Education website, " Roughly one-third of our instructional time is habitually swallowed up by District testing, surveys, and mandates." (http://www.thecbe.org/issues.html) While that may not be an accurate estimate for all schools, it's still a healthy chunk of time each year. Which in itself is concerning; let's stop what we're doing, you know, that whole teaching crap, so we can administer these tests to see where our students compare to everyone else. Because as we all know, kids are exactly the same.
|I don't know who to credit for this cartoon, but it sums things up nicely.|
I have yet to talk to a teacher who is a proponent of these tests. One jokingly mentioned that she has to stumble around when she passes them out, with her eyes closed because the teachers aren't allowed to look at them. And I had to laugh when I saw this:
|Wait, officer, please! I swear I wasn't selling the TCAP...it was just cocaine! And guns!|
To make it worse, they set up a "carnival" for the students that achieved so many points on their testing. So not only did he have to worry about the test itself, he had to worry that he'd miss the carnival if he didn't earn enough points.
It's a law that the child has to take the test. A law. We are now free to put marijuana in our cookies, but we are not allowed to make the decision as whether or not our child will take part in these tests? And what happens when we do opt out? This and this, and there are more and more cases being reported where truancy officers have been dispatched to the homes of the children who have opted out.
From the Colorado Department of Education, if a child is out sick or misses a session:
"...they are not allowed to have recess or lunch with their classmates until they have made up the missed sessions."
" Schools may treat parent refusals as unexcused absences and schools are not obligated to provide alternate activities for students whose parents refuse the state assessment."
Because obviously that is the best way to instill confidence and make sure our children are getting the education they need. So, what can we do?
|photo credit http://www.newedpath.com|