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“Exploited without regard to their tender years, countless youngsters were working under conditions constantly fraught with danger to life and limb…The blight of child labor was widely prevalent, in dust-laden textile mills and pitch-black coal mines, in sweltering glass factories and fetid sweat-shop lofts, in filthy canneries and blazing hot tobacco fields. No industry, no region was without its "tiny hostages to rapacious capitalism.” ---- from Child Labor in Textile Mills by M.B. Schnapper
“I walked past my daughter.  She looked up at me, her face red from crying, I could see that tears had been collecting at her collar ‘I just can’t do this,’ she sobbed.  The ill fitting headsets, the hard to hear instructions, the uncooperative mouse, the screen going to command modes, not being able to get clarification when she asked for it...Later on when I picked her up after her long seven-hour day, she whispered into my shoulder ‘I’m just not smart, mom. Not like everyone else. I’m just no good at kindergarten, just no good at all.’”----------Claire Wapole, a Chicago mom who volunteered as a MAP test proctor in a Chicago Public Schools kindergarten

Look how far we’ve have advanced in the use of child labor? Corporate USA doesn’t send US children to choke out their lives in the black dust of the coal mines or the brown dust of the textile mills. After long and intense opposition to that kind of child labor, Corporate USA was forced to allow working class children to attend school.

But in our Brave New World of neoliberal capitalism, Corporate USA, as represented by companies such as Pearson and McGraw-Hill, has turned schools into testing factories. They generate mega-profits by having kids hunched over  their computers for hours and even days at a time. Education is a big business, some estimates I have seen place it at as high as 1.3 trillion dollars.


 photo Leah-AnneThompson-kindergartenTestingFW.jpgPhoto by Leah-Anne Thompson


If the White House and Wall Street have their way, this big business will get even bigger. There’s gold in dem thar’ tests, along with the ancillary material, the training manuals, the test prep guides and the scripted curricula that goes along with the whole package.  Standardized tests have been weaponized and used as an excuse to close schools and privatize education while firing experienced and beloved teachers. Teachers? Who needs teachers? If the trend continues, a computer network technician who can read instructions in a clear voice will be all that is necessary. Think of the cost savings in salaries and benefits.

But the real mother-load will be the data collection that requires monstrous server farms, upgraded multi-state digital networks, endless software and hardware upgrades, technical support and...well you get the picture. And by the way, what do they plan to do with all of this highly personal data?

What do these tests measure BTW?

Just because something happens in a school doesn’t mean that it has anything to do with education. Today’s standardized tests grew out of the racially and class biased  IQ tests popular in the days when eugenics was considered “science.” As Alfie Cohn says about the modern standardized tests:

“The main thing they tell us is how big the students' houses are. Research has repeatedly found that the amount of poverty in the communities where schools are located, along with other variables having nothing to do with what happens in classrooms, accounts for the great majority of the difference in test scores from one area to the next.”----- Alfie Cohn 

To those who say that students need to prepare for jobs and careers in “real life”, how many people are evaluated on their jobs based upon sweating over often inane and unrelated multiple choice questions?


Protesting standardized testing abuse in the Chicago Public Schools
Chicagoans against testing abuse

Hi-stakes testing proponents seem to forget that schooling is not only about preparing students for careers, careers  that may not even exist when they graduate. It is also about preparing students to be active citizens in a vibrant democracy. There is no standardized test that can evaluate the complexity of sustaining and extending democracy.

What hi-stakes tests cannot measure

Hi-stakes testing cannot measure inspiration, creativity, exploration, curiosity and collaboration. Instead it is banishing these from the schools in favor of “rigor” and “grit”, the latest faddish buzzwords from hi-stakes testing proponents. 

Pardon me while I draw upon my 25 years experience as a secondary school educator and talk a little about the “rigor” that I have observed, none of it the result of hi-stakes testing.

Rigor is the cast of the high school musical devoting many hours of practice after and before school to make their live performance as flawless as possible. Rigor is the students in a math class exploring advanced calculations because they have been inspired by the sheer beauty of them as well as by how math has been essential to the technology they carry in their pockets. Rigor is students in an English class learning that painstakingly combining exactly the right words together can lead to life-changing insights and perhaps even result in a respectable showing at the next city-wide poetry slam. 

You can’t bubble that kind of “rigor” into a standardized test. It’s amazing how even pre-k’s and kindergartners can focus on tasks that inspire them without the intervention of hi-stakes testing. That kind of rigorous intensity comes from the human interaction of students and teachers in a collaborative classroom environment. 


Protesting standardized testing abuse in the Chicago Public Schools
Chicagoans against testing abuse

As for “grit”, introduce that into delicate complex machinery and it will destroy it. Grit is what wears things down and in that sense the term is a pretty accurate way of describing what hi-stakes testing is doing to our schools. They are wearing them out from within.  Katie Osgood is a teacher in a Chicago psychiatric hospital. Here is her take on “grit”:

“What is the value in teaching children to be able to sit for hours, to have the “grit” to finish that tedious task or long test? Why not create curriculum that is so engaging and relevant that children discover a joy in learning? No instruction on “grit” is needed when students are empowered and engaged. “No excuses” pedagogy is rooted in obedience and submission, in breaking children’s spirit, while social justice pedagogy empowers and uplifts using that spirit as an asset.”-------Katie Osgood 


Wasting valuable class time for dubious results

I often hear from frustrated parents and teachers that the endless parade of standardized tests is a “waste of valuable class time”. It’s much worse than that. The old fashioned child labor damaged children's’ health and deprived them of an education. I fear that the new child labor of hi-stakes testing and its related classroom activities will be the 21st century equivalent.

How will the chronic stress affect the minds of young children as it is applied year after year? A Great Neck, New York principal named  Sharon Fougner reported visceral reactions to Common Core testing:

“We know that many children cried during or after testing, and others vomited or lost control of their bowels or bladders. Others simply gave up. One teacher reported that a student kept banging his head on the desk, and wrote, ‘This is too hard,’ and ‘I can’t do this,’ throughout his test booklet.’” ---from an open letter signed by over 1500 New York state principals.

Chronic stress can kill.

It’s no secret that American schools have problems with bullying and violence. This manifests itself in different ways, some of which are related to race and social class. Troubled students often turn to favorite teachers when they are in distress. Yet, the goal of the standardized test mania is to remove the caring empathetic  human connection and replace it with a rigid scripted curricula that will literally “teacher-proof” the classroom.

I spent 15 years of my teaching career at a South Side Chicago Catholic women’s high school. My students were a multiracial mix of working class young people, many of them from distressed neighborhoods where labor exploitation, disinvestment, racism and gender discrimination take their toll on a daily basis.

I had students coming to me with serious personal issues exacerbated by the socio-economic realities around them. By working closely with the school counselors, together we were able to offer them at least some of the support they so desperately needed.

Since most of my teaching career was before the hi-stakes testing madness took hold, I had a lot control over the history curriculum in my classes. I was able to bring in historical examples and current events that addressed what these young people faced. I could show them how social movements had addressed and continue to address the often harsh realities of working class life in the USA. I could ask them to imagine how they would address these issues and how research and creative thought can provide some answers while also raising new questions.

How do you bubble that into a standardized test? 

According to Kathleen M. Cashin and Bruce S. Cooper of Fordham University, financially hard-pressed schools who pay for expensive testing packages:

“...are forced to cut such necessary services to students as social workers, psychologists, counselors, as well as the arts and athletics. These demands and the sacrifices they require will prove harmful to students, in the short run and the long run.”

How will this affect the school to prison pipeline as students drop out or are pushed out? How will this impact the mental health of the next generation? How many lives will be lost to suicide, street violence or domestic abuse who might have been saved with a more rational and caring educational system?

Is corporate profit really worth the loss of such human potential and human life?

Fortunately there is the law of unintended consequences 

One of the consequences of the testing mania is a growing nationwide resistance movement to the new child labor of hi-stakes testing. Corporate USA is giving parents, teachers and students quite an unintended education in just how far it will go to squeeze profit from even the youngest children. 

Parents are requesting that their children opt out of the tests. Teachers are risking their careers by refusing to give them. Students in Massachusetts organized their own “Be a Hero. Get a Zero” movement for test refusal.

Here in Chicago, in the midst of one of the worst winters in the city’s history, teacher Sarah Chambers stood in front of her grade school early one morning looking out from inside of her thick parka. She was calmly explaining to the media why teachers at her school were refusing to give the ISAT test and why many parents were not allowing their children to take it. Too many tests. Too little time for learning and human interaction.

When asked what teachers planned to do with the children not taking the test, Chambers smiled and said, “We’re going to teach them.”

Teach the children. What a concept.

“There is a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious, makes you so sick at heart, that you can't take part; you can't even passively take part, and you've got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels, upon the levers, upon all the apparatus, and you've got to make it stop.”--------- Mario Savio at the 1964 Berkeley student strike


It’s way past time to shut down the hi-stakes  testing machine that runs on the labor of children and the growing anguish of adults....and turn our attention to actual education.


 photo Test-Skills-Jobs.jpg

Sources consulted

N.Y. school principals write letter of concern about Common Core tests by Valerie Strauss

Paul Tough Is Way Off-Base. And Stop Saying ‘Grit’ by Katie Osgood

Testing? Testing? by Claire Wapole

Lean Production; Inside the real war on public education by Will Johnson

Childhood Lost: Child Labor During the Industrial Revolutionfrom Teaching with Primary Sources at Eastern Illinois University

How Wall Street Power Brokers Are Designing the Future of Public Education as a Money-Making Machine by Anna Simonton

You Can’t Bounce Off the Walls If There Are No Walls: Outdoor Schools Make Kids Happier—and Smarter by David Sobel

The case against standardized testing: raising the scores, ruining the schools by Alfie Kohn

Sacrificing Psychologists, Counselors, & Social Workers—and Athletics & the Arts—to Test Preparation by Kathleen M. Cashin Bruce S. Cooper

Testing in kindergarten: whatever happened to story time? by Ben Joravsky

They turned our schools into testing factories Socialist Worker editorial

Tests + Stress = Problems For Students by Daniel Edelstein

Originally posted to Chicago Kossacks on Fri Apr 04, 2014 at 09:00 AM PDT.

Also republished by Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Strategy for the reading tests... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Noisy Democrat, Cadillac64

    Prioritization
    Consider the answers provided to be 70%, 80%, 90%, or 100% correct. They may all answer the question to some extent, but there will be one that is more correct.

    Venn Diagrams
    Draw out how different answers apply. Find out where the overlaps are.

    Comparison
    Carefully check the specific words in the question, and review any supporting lines from the story. Watch each word.

    Read Questions First
    If you get stuck, read the questions first and then go back to re-read the story.

    Story Organization
    Most stories will have an Introduction, the Main Subject, and a Conclusion. Review the question to see which part of the story it is asking about. If it’s asking about a passage, can the potential answers be substituted to get the same meaning?

    Definitions
    Look to the context of the question and the story. It will likely ask about a key word related to the subject. Use the 70%, 80%, 90%, 100% rule.

    Introduction Keywords – this sometimes implies change
    first    first think

    Theme Keywords – watch for repetition
    most likely    central idea    main idea    main purpose    important theme
    central conflict    main topic    best represents    underlying    emphasize
    climax    most likely reason    common purpose       

    Conclusion Keywords
    summary    conclusion

    Fact Keywords
    fact    supports    signals    differ    illustrates
    describes    refers to           

    Opinion Keywords
    opinion    feeling    claim

    The United States for All Americans

    by TakeSake on Fri Apr 04, 2014 at 10:19:02 AM PDT

  •  Well said (18+ / 0-)

    Thank you for keeping the focus on this. We parents know, but for other voters it seems perfectly sensible to have "accountability." It has even taken me a while to understand how MUCH time goes into test prep and test-taking and this is in a good, well-funded public school system.

    Kindergartners should not be taking MAP tests. It's pointless and expensive. (not to mention abusive to kids and their experience of early childhood education.) My younger kid had his first MAP tests in 2nd grade and those were a complete waste of time. Kindergarten? Ha.

    I started out thinking MAP testing would be helpful for my older son's age group, open to the idea of instant-feedback and multiple-data-points of MAP testing. Sadly I have yet to see any value in the enormous cost in time, dollars and resources.

    The tests don't tell me or his teachers anything that we don't already know. The details aren't fine enough to improve on the data provided by classroom work.

    And the tests take up computers and computer lab time. Our school library gets closed for about 8 weeks a year because of MAP and state testing. And now they tell us the new state tests will also be multiple times a year. SIGH.

    We're being robbed. It's such a beautiful heist; if I wasn't the one whose pocket was being picked I could appreciate the beauty of this education scam.

  •  My story regarding Colorado's TCAP's (21+ / 0-)

    Transitional Colorado Assessment Program

    My sophmore in high school took these a few weeks ago.  Smart kid & tends to stress about tests and scoring situations.

    On the ride to school I kept reassuring her that these tests were NOT a big deal and to just do the best she could without worrying about how this one test will impact her future.  Covering some of the topics you discuss in the post above I assured her that the majority of her teachers also saw this as a waste of everyone's time & money when they could be teaching.

    She came home, busted out laughing and told me that one of the questions was, "What was the last piece of advice you were given?"

    And then she told me how she so enjoyed writing what I had told her about the test that morning.  I really hope she got a test grader with a good sense of humor.

    "Then why don't all girls belong to unions?" "Well, there's some that thinks it ain't fashionable; there's some that thinks it ain't no use; and there's some that never thinks at all."

    by Cadillac64 on Fri Apr 04, 2014 at 12:52:25 PM PDT

  •  Is "Hi" a Common Curriculum approved (5+ / 0-)

    substitute for "high" ?

    If not, and you were a kid, you'd have just failed out of life for that.  

    d'ohh!!

  •  I agree, the standardized test insanity (6+ / 0-)

    is off the rails.

    But is it actually called hi-stakes? I thought these were called high-stakes tests, as in the stakes are high.

  •  In North Carolina they are flunking (21+ / 0-)

    3rd graders for failure to pass high stakes reading tests.

    They are expecting tens of thousands of kids
    to flunk based on the Beginning of Grade tests.

    Next year 3rd grade will become a 3rd/4th grade hybrid.

    Tens of thousands of kids will have a state prescribed
    "scarlet F" branded on their heads for being
    what the state calls a failure.

    Meanwhile- EVERY week, my son has some form of
    standardized test.

    Thanks for the diary- should be front page material.

    •  If a third grader can't pass a reading test (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sparhawk

      shouldn't s/he flunk?

      What, exactly, are you objecting to?  Is it wrong to test 3rd graders on reading?  Is it wrong to flunk them if they can't pass?  Should ever student pass even if s/he can't read?

      •  Don't fall for lazy solutions (17+ / 0-)

        You are falling for the trap of easy sounding solutions. It's akin to" You're for us or against us", or 3 Strikes-
        you're locked up for life , or War on Drugs, The Patriot Act, Mandatory drug sentences and so on.....

        These sound great to the masses but make horrible public policy.

        Notes:

        #1 Children develop at different ages.

        #2 The NC GOP implemented this law at the same time
        they implemented the more rigorous Common Core standards. Statewide 3rd grade scores went from
        67% down to 19%!  

        #3 Some of the passages that the kids are required to
        read and comprehend are actually at middle school reading difficulty.

         #4 On each passage (at least 36 for every child) they are require to score 4 out of 5 on reading comprehension for each passage. Failure means additional passages.

        #5 Some students learn differently and do not take tests
        very well.

        #6 A student can be well above grade level for math
        can still be flunked for not passing the reading test.

        #7 Normally the teachers, principal, and parents make a joint decision on whether to flunk. This should be a local decision. Not an arbitrary number based on a test score determined by the State.

        #8 The state is spending $70 million on a 2 month summer school boot camp program for failure kids.
        NC should instead take that money and hire reading specialists who can work with students year round.

        #8 Most of the failure kids are from poverty situations,
        broken homes, single parents, kids with incarcerated moms or dads, kids speaking English as a 2nd language.
        They need much more help than to be told they are a "FAILURE" by the State

        #9 Failed kids will wear the badge of shame for the rest of their lives. Dropout rates will increase. Expect rises in juvenile crime in the next view years.

        #10 It takes about 4 years for scores to catch up every time you introduce new standards.

        #11 You pay teachers what they are worth. That brings in top talent. NC ranks 49th in teacher pay.

        The better reading states don't treat 8 year olds like this. They support them, they nurture them. I know, I lived in a top 5 ranked state for 41 years.

        What sounds to you like an easy solution to help reading is very poor public policy. I have personally spoken with dozens of administrators and teaching professionals.
        I have yet to find ONE single person who believes in what North Carolina is currently doing. -   unless they are a NC GOP legislator.

        Kids hate school. They overwhelming hate the weekly high stakes testing.  Teachers have to take at least 3 hours a week and devote them to administering testing.
        Meanwhile, when do teachers have time to teach?

        Thanks for reading my rant. The more you read about these tests, the more you will see giant corporations like Pearson pushing for more tests, writing the standards, making giant profits off of testing our kids.

        I have had more than a few top level district administrators and principals confide to me that they believe that this testing is a concerted effort by the NC GOP to destroy the public schools in order to bring about ALEC style vouchers, and corporate control of the schools.

        Did that answer your questions?

        •  Seems like a bunch of excuses (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Sparhawk
          #1 Children develop at different ages.
          OK.  And a third grader who cannot read has not developed sufficiently to pass third grade.  

          This is a very basic standard.  I live in China and my three year old pre-schooler is now preparing for entrance exams for first grade.  To get into a good government subsidized school he will need to be able to pass a written test in math and in reading and writing in English and Chinese.  If a third grader can't read in just one language there is a problem and s/he needs special help.

          #2 The NC GOP implemented this law at the same time
          they implemented the more rigorous Common Core standards. Statewide 3rd grade scores went from
          67% down to 19%!  
          Which suggests that the previous tests were designed to make the schools look good rather than to see if students were really learning.
          #3 Some of the passages that the kids are required to read and comprehend are actually at middle school reading difficulty.
          Examples please?
          #4 On each passage (at least 36 for every child) they are require to score 4 out of 5 on reading comprehension for each passage. Failure means additional passages.
          What is wrong with that?
          #5 Some students learn differently and do not take tests
          very well.
          Then, again, they need special help.  They will be taking tests until they finish their educations.  If they want to get jobs that are more rewarding and remunerative than "Want fries with that?" they will need to pass tests.
          #6 A student can be well above grade level for math
          can still be flunked for not passing the reading test.
          As they should be.  If a student is doing well in math but cannot read that student needs special help, not a social promotion.
          #7 Normally the teachers, principal, and parents make a joint decision on whether to flunk. This should be a local decision. Not an arbitrary number based on a test score determined by the State.
          I totally disagree.  There should be some basic standards and any child who cannot meet them should be flunked.  Kids who cannot read or write or do arithmetic should not be passed by well meaning teachers.
          #8 The state is spending $70 million on a 2 month summer school boot camp program for failure kids.
          NC should instead take that money and hire reading specialists who can work with students year round.
          Shrug... and relevance to testing is what exactly?

          There is a lot of evidence that struggling students fall behind during the summer, so keeping them in class for the summer seems to make sense.

          #8 Most of the failure kids are from poverty situations,
          broken homes, single parents, kids with incarcerated moms or dads, kids speaking English as a 2nd language.
          They need much more help than to be told they are a "FAILURE" by the State
          Sure... agreed.  But that does not mean that they should be passed despite failing classes.
          #9 Failed kids will wear the badge of shame for the rest of their lives. Dropout rates will increase. Expect rises in juvenile crime in the next view years.
          As opposed to kids who get passed and promoted to the next grade while totally unable to keep up with their classmates and who end up sitting around bored, disrupting classes for other students, and probably dropping out anyway?
          #10 It takes about 4 years for scores to catch up every time you introduce new standards.
          So??
          #11 You pay teachers what they are worth. That brings in top talent. NC ranks 49th in teacher pay.
          That only works if you have a way of telling the difference between top talent and bad teachers.  Otherwise you just end up paying more but not being more selective.  How do you plan to do this except by measuring student performance and firing the teachers whose students do not improve?
          •  Okay Beelzebubs you are a bright bulb (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ranton, rbird, dicentra, Cassandra Waites

            Let's be like China

            http://www.rfa.org/...

            Nationwide, suicide is also the fifth leading cause of death across the entire population, the Beijing Evening News reported.

            "We should prevent suicide in young people; in particular, suicides over the fact that they didn't get high enough grades in the university entrance exam to get a place at their ideal university, and other reasons like that," said Chinese U.S.-based medical doctor Jin Fusheng, who runs a private practice in Maryland.

            and
            According to figures from the Geneva-based World Health Organization (WHO), 30 percent of the world's suicides take place in China, where 250,000 people take their own lives annually.
          •  Maybe they are better at test-writing (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ranton, llywrch, Anika

            Take a look at some of the sample tests taken by kids in the US. If there's any kind of quality control or centralized review, it's not showing. Also, I don't know how it works in north carolina but writing tests (where students have to write essays) in the US are graded by piece workers who are paid by the test and have no reason to be thoughtful.

            The shitty quality of our standardized tests will be the next big scandal . . . it's just hard to keep up with all the scandals.

            •  If you think the tests are bad you should provide (0+ / 0-)

              the examples.

              And not just one bad question - that's always going to happen - point to a bad test.

              •  You know they don't release those, right? (0+ / 0-)

                Sample tests are the only thing available to parents. We don't have access to the tests. I don't think they are readily available, which is also a problem. Who writes them? Who decides what questions make sense? Who vets them to make sure they use terminology that makes sense to a diverse population of students from different backgrounds? If we (you know, the taxpayers funding these wildly expensive tests and their prep) had access to the black box we might feel better about writing the checks. Except I'm willing to bet a lot that the answers would not reassure me.

                I think you're just trolling me but in case you or someone reading along is actually interested in answers to your questions . . .

                There are lots lots of articles about specOne recent example was in the NYT - look for pineapple sleeves. But there are dozens of similar articles out there about other bad test questions. And again, these are based on questions bad enough to get reported by someone - reporters don't get to see the tests being offered.

                The specific tests for which I've seen sample questions (as a parent) are Illinois state test, the ISAT.

                I first read about writing tests being graded by piece workers in Harpers Magazine in an expose piece but again, if you're interested, use google and search terms "temps grading standardized tests."

                •  Back up your claim (0+ / 0-)
                  Take a look at some of the sample tests taken by kids in the US. If there's any kind of quality control or centralized review, it's not showing.
                  So, go ahead.  Show us the sample tests that don't show any quality control or centralized review.

                  You made the claim.  Back it up.

                  There are lots lots of articles about specOne recent example was in the NYT - look for pineapple sleeves.
                  One bad question does not make a bad test, but actually I think these are pretty good questions - certainly not as boring as most of the reading comprehension passages I have read.  See http://usny.nysed.gov/....  I think there are obvious answers for every question for anyone who reads and understands the passage.
                  I first read about writing tests being graded by piece workers in Harpers Magazine in an expose piece but again, if you're interested, use google and search terms "temps grading standardized tests."
                  Who cares if temps grade them?  Do you have any evidence that the grading is not consistent and reasonable?
          •  So now China is the model? (5+ / 0-)

            I don't think so.

            And before anyone comments that they are rated number one ... No, they are not. Using one measure, Shanghai was rated at the top. Shanghai is not a country. Let me repeat that. Shanghai is not a country.

            Moreover, schools in China are selective, as the author of the comment admitted. Only 35% of high school aged children in Shanghai are allowed into high school and many of them do not finish.

            Now if that's what we want here in the US, a system that educates only the best and the brightest, let's just cut through the nonsense and admit it. At least then the debate will be honest.

            A proud member of the Professional Left since 1967.

            by slatsg on Sat Apr 05, 2014 at 07:50:34 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Well, it's the best and brightest who create (0+ / 0-)

              Google and Microsoft and Oracle.

              We desperately need those people developed to their full potential as well as good educations for as many people as we can.

              But how does testing prevent us from educating everyone?

              BTW, education in China is not selective in the sense you mean.  It's more like the situation in New York with some public schools like Stuyvesant, Bronx Science, and Hunter that require tests and others like your local public school that do not.

              For international track students this is also tied to cost.  A place at a highly selective school like Shanghai Experimental School or Shanghai High costs $8,000 - $15,000 per year.  A place at one of the traditional international schools which pretty much take anyone who can pay the tuition costs as much as $30,000 per year.  Needless to say, unless you run a hedge fund or something everyone wants to get their kids into one of the good cheap schools if they can, so it's an arms race - three year olds get tutors and after school reading, writing, and math classes.  

              The results of this show.  I am an admissions interviewer for my university in China.  The students I interview here blow me away - they stand head and shoulders above the students I went to college with.  

          •  That's a right-wing "reform" frame — (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Cassandra Waites, ranton, Anika, emal

            referring to reasons as "excuses." They're not "excuses." They're real life. And arbitrary cutoff points on a single test are a miserable way to destroy kids' future.

            Ed FitzGerald for governor Of Ohio. Women's lives depend on it. http://www.edfitzgeraldforohio.com/

            by anastasia p on Sat Apr 05, 2014 at 02:07:08 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  in other words, you have your mind made up? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ranton
          •  I think you can use a little "re-education" (0+ / 0-)

            China is now proposing policies to reduce high stakes testing.
            http://zhaolearning.com/...

            Yong Zhao has a blog you should read.  

            You should also read the comments posted on Testingtalk.org
            The new exams being piloted right now are horrible.  But, as you will read, we are not supposed to know what is actually on the tests. That's because then Pearson couldn't reuse the questions and make even more money.

            I urge anyone who really wants to know about what is going on to read dianeravitch.net . I think her site is like the use of social media at the start of the Arab Spring.

            •  I posted in the wrong place (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              ranton, mollyd

              The comment above was intended for Triple B.  The new, high stakes testing regime is NOT anything like what US adults went through in school.  This is a rushed process, funded by Gates and other 1%ers, and it's purpose is to destroy public education.

        •  Bravo..."spot-on" righteous rant"!!! (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Intheknow

          Robber Baron "ReTHUGisms": John D. Rockefeller -"The way to make money is to buy when blood is running in the streets"; Jay Gould -"I can hire one half of the working class to kill the other half."

          by ranton on Fri Apr 04, 2014 at 10:37:40 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  As an educator, who spent many years working (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Beelzebubs Brass Bs

          in the poorest of title 1 schools, I will agree that 3rd grade is beyond time a student should be reading.  If they are not, they need special attention and likely serious intervention for a learning disability, but certainly do not need to pass on to the 4th grade as a non reader.

          I would even say that this is the latest of times.  I have sent plenty of students to tier II and tier III intervention at grade 1 or grade 2 at the latest, for not being at least in the beginning reading levels.  A child simply can not go beyond the bare beginnings of an education if they can not read and comprehend, and to send a child to third or fourth grade without this skill is harmful to the child and their education.  

          I have not seen this particular test, so I won't comment on its contents or fairness in that regard, but I can not agree that 3rd grade is still a time in which any student (without learning difficulties) should be socially promoted, if it is determined that they can not read and/or comprehend at a level that would make the 4th grade even possible for them.

          In regard to home life, parental support, and poverty status, it most certainly can have an impact on reading ability and education success in general.  There is no doubt about it.  However, that simply means that more help and intervention should be offered rather than pushing a students on to the next grade with a reading foundation.  Summer school, in particular, can work very well for a number of students and often the students prefer to be in school.  Not all kids hate school as you suggested and many find refuge and comfort there...along with food, friends, companionship, education, and safety.

          As far as high stake testing in concerned, I agree that we are at a point now in which testing has taken over the classroom and Common Core is another demon child about to unleash even more damage than has already been done.  Both have been devastating to our education system.  However, I also think that testing has a place and if you teach as you are supposed to teach, your kids will pass most tests, if designed with the proper standards in mind and without the need to "teach to the test".  If the test is based strictly on standards, and designed to measure retention and use of them, then I can go along with assessments to find out students' progress, as long as it is not a weekly or constant barrage of preparatory nonsense that serves no purpose but to cause panic attacks in students and educators alike.

      •  Teaching children to read is critical (9+ / 0-)

        But the culture of hi-stakes testing can actually discourage children from reading by turning into a frightening alienating experience.

        "Don't believe everything you think."

        by BobboSphere on Fri Apr 04, 2014 at 09:03:44 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Answers from a a successful reading teacher (5+ / 0-)

        Your comment indicates a complete lack of knowledge or concern about how children learn.  Readiñg development occurs most efficiently when a child has the opportunity to experience new information in a wide variety ways and settings not including punitive settings.  Rest also plays a big part in the process.  High stakes testing does not allow the time required.  Your comment and history also suggests that you are a troll.

        Newt 2012. Sociopath, adulterer, hypocrite, Republican.

        by tikkun on Sat Apr 05, 2014 at 07:16:03 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Kids should be taught to read out of love (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ranton, Anika, wintergreen8694

        of what they're reading, not to pass a test.  Motivation is critical to success.  Moreover, there's a difference between teaching someone to pass a reading test, and teaching someone to read.  This is even more true of writing.

        •  If you can read then you can pass a reading (0+ / 0-)

          comprehension test.

          •  Not True (0+ / 0-)

            The implicit assumption here is that the test measures whether the child can read or not.  Without even getting into what we mean when we say someone can read, where is the evidence that that's what the test measures?

            •  Well, I've taken plenty of these tests (0+ / 0-)

              If you can't read and reasonably understand you can't pass.

              If you can read but have some kind of weird learning disability that makes you unable to answer multiple choice questions then you also can't pass, but how many people really have that kind of problem?

              If you can read but you panic when you take high stakes tests then you also can't pass.  That's another problem - life is full of high stakes tests ranging from the SATs to tests in college to job interviews to business plans you write for venture capitalists.  You need psychological help to deal with your anxiety problem then.

          •  Provably incorrect... (0+ / 0-)

            By the simple fact that time is spent preparing kids specifically for these tests.  If merely literacy were needed, there'd be no need.

            •  I can go into more detail on math and writing... (0+ / 0-)

              I can't write worth a damn, which I blame, in part, on horrible schooling, that always focused on the form expected of the upcoming standardized test, whether it was a 5 paragraph persuasive essay, a 5 paragraph comparative essay, or a 5 paragraph descriptive essay...  The focus was on how many sentences each paragraph should have, how many points I should make for each, etc, etc.  All completely useless when writing something actually relevant.

              Math I have some small skill at, and I can tell you that "writing equivalent number sentence" style exercises are pretty useless, and introduce weird terminology that no one uses.

            •  Where is your evidence that the preparation (0+ / 0-)

              for these tests is not basically literacy?

      •  One day on one test? (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Cassandra Waites, ranton, Anika

        Every if the teachers knows that child reads well and with comprehension and the cutoff point is entirely arbitrary and set way too high, as it is in Ohio? And that holding a child back on this arbitrary basis greatly increases their chances of becoming a dropout (ask anyone who ever had a "flunked" classmate how well that classmate fit in)?

        Ed FitzGerald for governor Of Ohio. Women's lives depend on it. http://www.edfitzgeraldforohio.com/

        by anastasia p on Sat Apr 05, 2014 at 02:04:06 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Yes, the diarist deserves our thanks, (as well as (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Cadillac64, ranton, rbird, 4Freedom

      that of children nationwide.)

      The hungry judges soon the sentence sign, And wretches hang, that jurymen may dine.

      by magnetics on Fri Apr 04, 2014 at 09:14:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  It is not ethical to test a kid before they (8+ / 0-)

      understand and can solve the problem.

      This whole set up makes me sick as a teacher - not public school teacher, but as someone who helps people learn.

      It's just not conducive to learning at all. It's actually how you turn learners off, test them before they can pass the test.  

      It eliminates everyone but the exceptional and apathetic, the bots, and the exceptional bots.

      Really sad.

      Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

      by k9disc on Sat Apr 05, 2014 at 03:27:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Ditto Ohio. This is a national measure (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ranton

      probably from the usual sources. Ohio schools are bracing for catastrophe.

      Ed FitzGerald for governor Of Ohio. Women's lives depend on it. http://www.edfitzgeraldforohio.com/

      by anastasia p on Sat Apr 05, 2014 at 02:02:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Yes, kids are losing LIMBS to "hi stakes" testing. (4+ / 0-)

    The differences between coal mining and filling in bubbles with a #2 pencil are mostly semantic.  

  •  Spoken by a veteran elementary teacher, "We are (14+ / 0-)

    destroying their love for learning in 3rd grade!"  

    While proctoring WI state 10th grade exams this year, I observed more students than ever before randomly coloring test answers without even reading the test.  At least 1/4 blatantly showed that they cared enough to pick up a pencil and color in circles...that was it...done in 3-5 minutes.

    Multiple choice exams do not test what some students have learned; they test if a student is good at multiple choice exams.  

    Many of my history students can tell me or draw or diagram what they have learned; yet they fail multiple choice and written exams.  Is it appropriate to fail them when they have learned the content yet struggle demonstrating that learning in standard testing format...doing that would be a travesty!

    Robber Baron "ReTHUGisms": John D. Rockefeller -"The way to make money is to buy when blood is running in the streets"; Jay Gould -"I can hire one half of the working class to kill the other half."

    by ranton on Fri Apr 04, 2014 at 02:01:28 PM PDT

    •  do the students get in trouble if they make pretty (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      slatsg, mightymouse, Cadillac64, ranton

      pictures with the colored-in circles so that it is obvious they weren't even trying? If not I'd certainly do that if I was a kid, and I'd almost recommend it as as an exercise in civil disobedience. Is it possible to 'cheat'? or otherwise get thrown out of the testing room by bringing a book or something for the rest of the class time?

      What does happen if kids 'misbehave' in any way?

      What happens if you keep your kid home 'sick' (sick of all this useless, expensive, and disruptive testing- yes, sick) instead of opting out of if they say you can't opt out?

      We are all pupils in the eyes of God.

      by nuclear winter solstice on Fri Apr 04, 2014 at 03:22:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  If they can't answer a multiple choice question (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sparhawk

      I don't think they learned it, with the possible exception of a small number of students with very specific learning disabilities.

      If you have a multiple choice question:

      In 1066, the Normans under William the Conqueror invaded England.  What modern day country is Normandy in?
      a. Scotland
      b. France
      c. Spain
      d. Germany
      The answer tells you whether or not your student understands where the Normans came from, who they were, and if they have at least the foundations to understand the history of the relationship between the United Kingdom and France.

      I have a hard time believing that a student can tell, draw, or diagram that but can't answer the multiple choice question.

      •  That depends on what one considers important: fact (8+ / 0-)

        minutiae or broader concepts and knowledge.

        Those who have been blessed with above average IQs, the ability to easily memorize, and rapid recall do not struggle with multiple choice exams.  

        Unfortunately, many students have not been blessed with brains wired for the skills required to do well on multiple choice exams. Yet those students can and do show they have learned about a topic when prompted in a different way.  I am consistently surprised when I provide an individualized oral exam to a struggling test taker.  More often than not, an oral exam earns a passing grade for a student who failed a multiple choice test. Sometimes just asking something like "Who were the Normans" and "What happened to England in 1066" will spark answers that are correct and insightful while that same student would get your question wrong.  

        You, of course, are free to believe what you believe.  I have simply based my comments on 35+ years of teaching experiences with students of all intellectual abilities from struggling teen readers to college prep and Advanced Placement students.

        Robber Baron "ReTHUGisms": John D. Rockefeller -"The way to make money is to buy when blood is running in the streets"; Jay Gould -"I can hire one half of the working class to kill the other half."

        by ranton on Fri Apr 04, 2014 at 09:46:28 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  And it's so convenient to be able to give a (0+ / 0-)

          kid a passing grade - no upset parents, no justifications to the principal about why he failed, right?

          But are you really doing him a favor?  Most professional jobs involve writing stuff down.  If your student can't do that should you be passing him?  Or should you be indicating that he has some kind of strange learning disability that prevents him from filling out ABCD bubbles and seeking help for him?

      •  Multiple choice tests are used because... (6+ / 0-)

        they are easiest to grade. They certainly don't come close to giving a complete picture of a student's ability. They should never be used as the criteria to determine passing or failing.

        Ken Robinson speaks of the necessity of “divergent thinking”, the ability to see different ways to interpret a question and to see multiple ways to solve a particular problem.

        The Michigan Association of School Boards listed the following “21st century Survival skills”:

        1) Critical Thinking/problem solving
        2) Collaboration/leading by influence
        3) Agility and adaptability
        4) Initiative and entrepreneurialism
        5) Effective oral and written communication
        6) Accessing and analyzing information
        7) Curiosity and imagination

        Isn’t it interesting that the method of assessing whether or not students are acquiring these skills is the multiple choice test.

        Not only that but in an age in which creativity and originality are essential, students are being saddled with a one-size fits all curriculum, a singular method of assessment and a single “correct” way of teaching.

        It is a wonder that the so-called reformers’ heads aren’t exploding from the cognitive dissonance.

        A proud member of the Professional Left since 1967.

        by slatsg on Sat Apr 05, 2014 at 08:08:05 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  When I taught history I did use multiple choice... (9+ / 0-)

      ...as part of their tests, usually administered every three weeks. I explained to them that being able to recall information under a certain amount of stress is a good skill to practice.

      However I also gave them choices of short answer and essay questions, including an option to make up their own essay question about the material and answer it.

      My tests were only a portion of their grade and they had the opportunity to to do other kinds of work to help compensate for a bad test.

      I don't object to testing per se, it depends on the type, the amount and the purpose of it.

      "Don't believe everything you think."

      by BobboSphere on Fri Apr 04, 2014 at 09:19:55 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You are the kind of teacher who recognizes the (8+ / 0-)

        diversity involved in learning.  You were also testing students on material they had an opportunity to study and learn.  We both know that high-stakes testing does not necessarily do that.

        Testing companies have to make sure that they have their score "spread" after all.  If the majority of students do well on tests covering what they have studied, why would we need to pay corporations for those high stakes tests? Therefore, high stakes tests are designed to make sure there is failure. For profit testing companies have an "incentive" to ensure that their tests prove education is in crisis.

        Robber Baron "ReTHUGisms": John D. Rockefeller -"The way to make money is to buy when blood is running in the streets"; Jay Gould -"I can hire one half of the working class to kill the other half."

        by ranton on Fri Apr 04, 2014 at 09:59:00 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  What happened (17+ / 0-)

    to the basics which put a man on the moon, created unprecedented innovation by people who achieved spectacular things, pre-corporate take over of education and pre-war on education.

    If anyone thinks that education in America is about children learning and becoming successful as a "collectivity" then we don't understand the Koch Brothers nor the intention of the 1%.

    Children are tools to be exploited by corporate America. Paul Ryan and Republicans Governors are the water boys who execute the dumbing down of the "collectivity" by cutting spending anyway they can for education.

    A dumb electorate is an easily controllable electorate. These people hate children, seniors,sick people, women, brown people, gays, middle/lower class people and people who part their hair down the middle.

    Well, they just hate America.    

  •  A cute story about testing (14+ / 0-)

    The first five years of my daughters education was at a Steiner school, during which time she never had to take a test. At age eleven she started attending a traditional school and within the first week had to take multiple standardised tests. The results were mostly very sweet. On her first test she occasionally checked two answers, thinking the correct answer could be one or the other. The teacher very kindly explained to her that on a test there was only one right answer ... so, on the second test she checked only one when she was sure of the answer, but for the ones she was unsure of, she put a question mark instead of a check to let the teacher know she wasn't sure. By the third exam she knew what to do, and now she's working on a Master's, but I'm glad that her early experience included the possibility of multiple correct answers. There's a kind of rigidity that comes from such a strong emphasis on standardised learning and testing, and only one answer.

    'A civilization flourishes when people plant trees under whose shade they will never sit' Greek Proverb

    by janis b on Fri Apr 04, 2014 at 02:46:44 PM PDT

    •  I don't know about your experience ... (4+ / 0-)

      but in my experience every problem had four and only four possible solutions and only one correct answer.

      A proud member of the Professional Left since 1967.

      by slatsg on Fri Apr 04, 2014 at 04:22:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  We made it though, (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Cadillac64, Calamity Jean

        didn't we?

        'A civilization flourishes when people plant trees under whose shade they will never sit' Greek Proverb

        by janis b on Fri Apr 04, 2014 at 04:45:29 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  What are the four possible answers to ... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          janis b, Cadillac64, Calamity Jean

          your question? I'm unable to answer any question unless it comes in the multiple choice format.

          A proud member of the Professional Left since 1967.

          by slatsg on Fri Apr 04, 2014 at 04:53:03 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Choose one, and only one (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            slatsg, Cadillac64, Calamity Jean

            In one way or another
            We think we did, but could be proved wrong
            No question, we did
            Other

            'A civilization flourishes when people plant trees under whose shade they will never sit' Greek Proverb

            by janis b on Fri Apr 04, 2014 at 04:59:48 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  When in doubt, choose C. (8+ / 0-)

              I was at a conference one time and one of the speakers actually proposed multiple choice tests to measure art and music "achievement".

              Un-swearword-believable.

              A proud member of the Professional Left since 1967.

              by slatsg on Fri Apr 04, 2014 at 06:35:59 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  What would that look like ... ? (4+ / 0-)

                Question 1
                If you were to paint a tree, what would it look like?
                A
                B
                C
                D

                'A civilization flourishes when people plant trees under whose shade they will never sit' Greek Proverb

                by janis b on Fri Apr 04, 2014 at 07:55:37 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  I have been very interested in this conversation (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                slatsg, tikkun, dicentra, 4Freedom

                and have canceled several comments already.

                You guys are all over my bread and butter and I'm whiffing on pretty much all of my comments, but whatever...

                I wanted to share this:
                http://pvybe.com/...

                It's part of our learning schtick, and the cue vs command kind of embodies two distinct schools of pedagogical thought.

                The spirit of pedagogy in the high stakes testing world of today is totally off from an ethical and moral standpoint if our goal is to have a healthy citizenry. It is intended to deliver obedience and seeks to weed out creativity and critical thinking.

                It intends to deliver human capital, most likely in highly data-driven Grades, like Grade A human capital that is compliant and that will follow directions.  

                I would not at all be surprised to know that the tests and prep for test, quizzes and whatnot of the future will be geared towards psych profiling as well, two birds with one stone. It's just crunching numbers after all. Think of all the educational metadata.

                blech...

                I really freaked out a few months ago in NYC. Grand Central was plastered with McGraw Hill banners where they were touting their new status as:

                leading provider of ratings, benchmarks and analytics in the global capital and commodity markets.
                That's the former education company. Totally creeped me out.

                Thanks for sharing your thoughts here, slatsg.
                peace~

                Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

                by k9disc on Sat Apr 05, 2014 at 04:02:03 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  We had a school-required final in art classes. (0+ / 0-)

                Mandated to be 10% of the grade.

                It was always 10 questions long, varied a bit based on the class, and was generally made of 'did you pay attention on the first day long enough to not be a danger to yourself or others?' questions.

                Same story in band class, but at least there the band director could use 'which scale is this?' music theory-ish questions that we had to know well enough to play for the placement tests at the end of each year anyway.

                Because all classes had to have a final counting for at least 10% of the grade, administered within 24 hours of the grading due date.

  •  Hard Times by Charles Dickens (10+ / 0-)

    When you have time to read a classic for pleasure, I would recommend Hard Times.  It was written before we invented the 20th Century words for Progressive Education and Machine Model education, but the concepts are the same.

    Dickens's labels were the "School of Fact," and the "School of Fancy."  It will soon become clear which side Dickens is on.  Plus Dickens did a good job of showing many of our 21st Century cast of characters.  

    I used to require the book to be read for Advanced Placement European History.  I had no idea in the 1980s that we would return to that conflict with such a vengeance.  

    I'm from Johnson City.

    by Al Fondy on Fri Apr 04, 2014 at 03:12:50 PM PDT

  •  Arne Duncan must go. (13+ / 0-)

    Duncan has so much long term damage to US public education I fear it will take a generation to undo the damage. Ending the test and punish regime is a beginning.

    •  Is it test and punish or is it (5+ / 0-)

      punish with tests?

      This kind of situation creates is creating a classically conditioned aversion to learning, and I think that is part of the point.

      Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

      by k9disc on Sat Apr 05, 2014 at 04:05:04 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Well, he can't take most of the blame (0+ / 0-)

      It was set in motion by George bush and his minions. Duncan only exacerbated it. I'd assign him less than a third of the blame.

      Ed FitzGerald for governor Of Ohio. Women's lives depend on it. http://www.edfitzgeraldforohio.com/

      by anastasia p on Sat Apr 05, 2014 at 02:11:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Obama should take the blame (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        wintergreen8694

        He lied to us about NCLB.  He talked a good game about getting rid of it when he campaigned.  Then, when he was elected, he doubled down on the testing.  You can't blame Duncan without conceding that Obama is his boss.  And if Obama thinks high stakes testing is the way to go, why doesn't he insist Sidwell Friends use them, or take his daughters out.  What a hypocrite-High stakes test for thee, not for me!

  •  Thank you for the excellent diary (12+ / 0-)

    I am so tired of hearing about "rigor". It was the most overused, meaningless eduspeak word in recent memory. And now we have "grit" which is essence is convincing kids to comply and to accept and focus on mind-numbing tests.

    You mention bullying in you diary. The emphasis on so-called grit is essentially an attempt to bully students into submission. I can easily see a child who fails to do well on tests being held up to ridicule for having a "character" flaw.

    A proud member of the Professional Left since 1967.

    by slatsg on Fri Apr 04, 2014 at 04:33:15 PM PDT

  •  thanks so much for this! (9+ / 0-)

    In NY State we are deep into the mandated "400 minutes" of state testing in grades 3-8.

    In our district 63 kids have refused the test.

    It's so stupid. The governor says it's not a big deal for the kids. The superintendent of a nearby district says last year's test results were useless as far as evaluating the kids goes:

    "The results we got last year were not helpful to me," Ossining Superintendent Raymond Sanchez said. "The results did not tell me much about the children we serve."
    Our a-hole superintendent is spreading a myth that we may lose funding if too many kids refuse.

    And for this they basically give up two weeks of school. And the districts have to pay a pretty penny. And the teachers, who get paid well to teach, don't teach.

    McGraw Hill and Pearson are the main beneficiaries, along with the pols they underwrite.

    An ambulance can only go so fast - Neil Young

    by mightymouse on Fri Apr 04, 2014 at 05:07:40 PM PDT

  •  McGraw Hill was all over Grand Central Station wit (6+ / 0-)

    propaganda about their shift to a big data and analysis corporation.

    It was pretty alarming. Thanks for sharing this great diary.

    Love the positive vs punitive pedagogy idea. Real brass tacks difference there. Should be no question on where I come down on that.

    Get desire before duration and it's a done deal.

    Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

    by k9disc on Sat Apr 05, 2014 at 03:21:41 AM PDT

  •  I retired to ASEAN in 2005, before my children (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mightymouse, 4Freedom

    started school, so I have no first hand experience with the USA system of testing you are describing. Out here in ASEAN, our school is now transitioning to the Singapore system. From what I have read in Daily Kos, Huffington Post, and Socialist Worker, our Parents Committee made the right decision not adopting the USA system. Yes, the teachers here are badly underpaid (as are all government employees in the 3rd World), but are far too respected to be sacrificed like they are doing in the Land of the Free and the Home of Brave.

    I voted with my feet. Good Bye and Good Luck America!!

    by shann on Sat Apr 05, 2014 at 06:13:16 AM PDT

  •  ^^O^^ (0+ / 0-)

    Educational experience based on non-consensual behaviorism is authoritarian mind control.

    by semioticjim on Sat Apr 05, 2014 at 10:51:24 AM PDT

  •  reading comprehension questions often arbitrary (4+ / 0-)

    I've seen the 9th grade reading comprehension standards test in Minnesota. Many of the questions are arbitrary, and students can get them wrong even if they understand the text. Many questions are not content questions but evaluation questions. For example: 'what would be the best title for this story?' with more than one reasonable answer. Questions like this don't test anything but a student's ability to mind read the test writer. Evaluation questions are by definition open ended and subject to opinion.  Highly educated, highly literate people can have honest disagreements about what the 'best' answer is.

    In contrast, the MN 11th grade math standards tests that I saw were well written and very rigorous.

  •  I missed this when it first posted. Sorry! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ranton

    I think this is very, very important stuff. Our children are all different, learn at different rates, and in different modes. Forcing all to test to normative standards is so anti-American I'm amazed that more parents aren't rebelling against having their children tested and judged against statistical norms.

    What a great disservice to both our children and our society. It absolutely stifles creativity and free-thinking, which is, of course, the goal.

    I adamantly oppose this kind of teaching and testing to the extent that I used to drive our son three hours round-trip to a Waldorf school so he would be allowed to think.

    The American Revolution was a beginning, not a consummation. Woodrow Wilson

    by 4Freedom on Sat Apr 05, 2014 at 02:17:02 PM PDT

  •  Thank you for correctly making this about testing (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wintergreen8694

    Not  specifically about Common Core.  One state (Indiana?) has scrapped Common Core but plans to develop their own monstrosity.  High stakes testing goes back decades- in the 80s it was less intense, in Alabama we tested 3rd, 8th and 11th. Each test was make/break, could not be promoted. Now it is tied to school funding, teacher pay and child promotion. Punishment on evry side. No rewards for success.

    I was observing in a low performing school last week. 3rd grade class. They had just taken a practice test.  Teacher was asking kids to raise their hands if their scores were lower than last time.  Then higher.  Then she talked about the class score and how they needed to all do better to meet class goal.  One little guy was being very sullen.  She pulled him to the side and he teared up in shame. She told him it was just a test.  Mixed messages?

  •  There Ought To Be a Law (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ranton, Anika

    There ought to be a law preventing any testing data gathered from students in any school to be available to any entity outside the government. That would quickly drain all the profits out of it.

    It's like the prison system: no prisons should be private.

    Do we need to start a drive for an amendment?

  •  My child started kindergarten with a test (0+ / 0-)

    A standardized test, with bubbles to fill in. These kids were four and five years old, maybe they could write a few letters, but they had no idea how to fill in a test bubble. My daughter's teacher knew it was ridiculous, and they told the kids to just try, but apparently a lot of the kids drew on their test sheets or filled in the bubbles randomly, often more than one answer to a line. Hopefully the results come back that it's ridiculous to give kids that age.

    That said, I don't have huge problems with the Common Core curriculum that they're using in her kindergarten. They're doing addition, subtraction, set theory, even a very early version of algebra. Reading & writing are OK. I'm interested to see what happens towards the end of the school year.

    •  Standards at Kinder are not so bad, (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      emal, wintergreen8694

      but watch 8 and 9 yr olds try to reduce fractions to their simplest forms.  It's painful for most. The work they do in 3rd, I did in 6th.

      Additionally, I'm reading a lot of comments from the field tests, that say 3rd graders are asked how the structures of the paragraphs in an essay add to the essay's organizational structure.

      Day 3 of the Common Core NYS ELA is absurd. The third grade test includes an excerpt from a book that, according to Scholastic, is written at a Grade Level Equivalent of 5.2. Its Lexile Measure is 650L, and it’s categorized as a Level X Guided Reading selection. Yet, it appears on a test that has been written for third grade students.

      Day 3 of the Common Core NYS ELA is incongruous with Common Core Learning Standards. The same third grade test asks students to identify how specific paragraphs support the organizational structure of a selected piece of literature. The Reading Standards for Literature in Grade 3, with respect to Craft and Structure, state that Grade 3 students should be able to: Refer to parts of stories, dramas, and poems when writing or speaking about a text, using terms such as chapter, scene, and stanza; describe how each successive part builds on earlier sections. It is not until Grade 5, according to The Reading Standards for Literature, that students should be able to: Explain how a series of chapters, scenes, or stanzas fits together to provide the overall structure of a particular story, drama, or poem.

      Tests are being used in ways that are not appropriate or research based, and that is because, education policy has been usurped by corporatists..

      http://nycpublicschoolparents.blogspot.com/...

      It is ridiculous to pretend that firing teachers based on student test scores, starting charter schools, giving out vouchers or implementing merit pay will overcome the challenges facing a child living in poverty. -Jersey Jazzman

      by Desert Rose on Sun Apr 06, 2014 at 06:22:54 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Before I read any further (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BobboSphere

    Voting is not something one should do "once every couple of years."  It should be an annual (or more including primaries and local elections not held in November) exercise.

    There is truth on all sides. The question is how much.

    by slothlax on Sat Apr 05, 2014 at 09:27:50 PM PDT

  •  But the right wing are not interested in a vibrant (0+ / 0-)

    democracy.  So why would they care if schools are turned into testing factories?  We got to get over trying to be so logical about these sort of things.  The right wing has no interest in logic.  The way we should be spending our time is figuring how to organize given that the right wing will have more money.

    "The real wealth of a nation consists of the contributions of its people and nature." -- Riane Eisler

    by noofsh on Sun Apr 06, 2014 at 05:29:14 AM PDT

  •  AZ has a third grade retention law, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wintergreen8694

    for those children who fail the state test. We start sending papers home in the second half of Kinder, that the child is on target to fail the 3rd grade test (3 years later), if they are not Benchmark on the DIBELS test. Parent must sign and in goes in the cum file as evidence.

    Pretty pathetic that we begin to label kids as losers when they're only five.

    It is ridiculous to pretend that firing teachers based on student test scores, starting charter schools, giving out vouchers or implementing merit pay will overcome the challenges facing a child living in poverty. -Jersey Jazzman

    by Desert Rose on Sun Apr 06, 2014 at 06:08:41 AM PDT

  •  Obama sneaking privatization into federal law (0+ / 0-)

    Obama is sneaking common core testing into ESEA by tying funding for Title I to the states who use CC standards & its accompanying PARCC testing.

    This is an outrageous attempt to sneak test & punish into law. This means more schools will fail & be turned over to the privatizers. And it means parents & teachers will be breaking the law if they refuse testing.

    Please spread the word! Any Democrat who supports this should face a primary challenge.

    http://dianeravitch.net/...

  •  High Stakes Testing (0+ / 0-)

    Parents share their reasons for opting out of Standardized Tests
    Please share it!
    http://youtu.be/...

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