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Received this e-mail today from State Senator Wendy Davis' (D. TX) gubernatorial campaign today:
Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, speaks as she begins a filibuster in an effort to kill an abortion bill, Tuesday, June 25, 2013, in Austin, Texas. The bill would ban abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy and force many clinics that perform the procedure to upgrade their facilities and be classified as ambulatory surgical centers.  (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
This week, Texas students began another round of standardized STAAR tests. At the same time, Greg Abbott continues promoting his education plan to force four-year-old students into standardized testing.

It’s a method that replaces the discovery of early learning with teaching to a test. It subjects preschoolers to a high-stakes exam and ties the results to education funding in schools. And it picks and chooses which Texas children have access to a quality education.

Abbott’s plan is really and truly a giveaway to the standardized testing industry in Texas. Children in pre-K should be coloring with crayons, not filling in bubbles with number two pencils.

I believe all Texas children should have access to a quality education -- and that’s what I will fight for as Governor.

If you agree, add your name today to send a message: Four-year-old children should not be taking high-stakes standardized tests.

All Texas children should have access to a quality education. That’s what I believe -- and that’s what I will strive to achieve as Governor.

Thank you for your support today.


Click here to add your name:

Originally posted to pdc on Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 12:59 PM PDT.

Also republished by Youth Kos 2.0 and The Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Children are fair game for human husbandry (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    because, as the property of their parents, they have no rights.
    If we want to make a change, we should first insist that the U.S. subscribe to the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
    That's another UN plot which the U.S. has to reject to prove how exceptional it is.

    Owning people is apparently really hard to give up.

    I suppose that, in part, it's because we've made a pact with the devil -- own property and don't bother owning ourselves. It's as if we'd given up our birthright for a mess of porridge.

    What hasn't registered is that owning property is like having a noose or albatros around one's neck.  Tending the property takes so much time, that there's little left to live.
    It's no wonder that vagrants are considered a nuisance. Their very existence and wandering through the countryside serves as a reminder of what could be, if we just left the property behind. But we can't have that. Just think, the person would have to be given primary importance. The person's worth would be determined by what he does, not by what he has.
    And that would leave a lot of do-nothings in the lurch.

    by hannah on Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 01:37:31 PM PDT

  •  I added my name earlier... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Matt Z, daeros

    ...and am proud to support Wendy in her candidacy.


    by alaprst on Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 02:37:22 PM PDT

  •  Children entering school should be tested (0+ / 0-)

    This is how you establish a baseline to determine if what you are teaching and how you are teaching it actually delivers value.

    It also makes fair merit pay for teachers possible - obviously you need to measure teachers by how much kids improve, not by where they end up on an absolute scale.  So you have to measure their level when they start school.

    Children in pre-K should be coloring with crayons, not filling in bubbles with number two pencils.
    GACK!  This attitude is what is killing the US educational system!

    My 3 year old (a year younger than the four year olds you are complaining about) is in school in the country we live in (a third world country with a well regarded pre-college educational system.)  He gets to play with crayons, but he's also working on writing "Cat" and "Car" and "Dog" with pencils, not crayons.

    I interview students from this country who are applying to my US alma mater and their quality just amazes me - head and shoulders above the kids I went to school with.  When I look at the education my son is getting I see why.

    •  Oh... and he'll have to take his first high stakes (0+ / 0-)

      test in 2 years to get into a good primary school.

      He will be expected to demonstrate reading and writing skills in both English and his local language and the ability to add and subtract 2 - 3 digit numbers to get into a good international track school.

    •  No, they should not. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I did a lot of work developing assessment instruments for New York State, in the past.  
      First of all, children may be bright but certainly not able to read questions to select the right answer at age 4. Many a young teen in grade 7/8 with raging hormones and lack of sleep would just put their pencils down or just bubble in anything and then put the pencil down with no regard to the right answers.  
      Teachers with a four year degree in education including a course in child development would be a far better method to determine the baseline of a student.
      Looking at it in a scientific manner, one takes many measures of an event/experiment to collect data.
      We know that children are not widgets and are good at somethings and less good at others.  Howard Gardener discusses this in the theory of Multiple Intelligences

      As a science teacher in NY, I administered a hands-on test of science skills at the 4th grade level. Doing that was interesting, and wonderful as teachers moved towards teaching students to "do things".  The first kids cried when the had to weigh something with small cubes.  Later kids knew how to do it easily. Once the teachers knew what we had to teach, we did it. They were encouraged to move away from paper and pencil and manipulate stuff and see stuff happen.
      Science Alberta in Calgary put manipulatives for particular topic into big crates and would send them by Greyhound to remote parts of rural Alberta and all over Alberta.

      A smart trained human watching and making assessments of students in different ways to me is far better than some "one size fits all" commercial document. After all, the writing of questions in education are quite particular, if they aim at the higher levels of Blume's Taxonomy.  
      So what happens is that in a classroom, you do stuff and use various ways to record the child's ability do do the tasks.  
      More often than not, when the "baseline" is taken, the results come back much later than is useful to the current teacher to be useful.

      •  How do you ensure consistency in evaluations? (0+ / 0-)
        A smart trained human watching and making assessments of students in different ways to me is far better than some "one size fits all" commercial document
        Unless you make sure that students are consistently evaluated how can you ensure that sexist and racism are not biasing your results?
        First of all, children may be bright but certainly not able to read questions to select the right answer at age 4.
        Do the Age 4 standardized test require that?  If so, and if you are right that children cannot read questions and select the right answer then every child will get a 0 and the testing will fail.  Why would you have a problem with that?  I suspect you are more concerned that the tests will work.

        BTW, I'm not at all sure 4 year olds cannot do that.  My son is going to have to take his primary school entrance examinations at 5 and he will be expected to read and write in his test.

  •  I don't give to the DCM anymore cause.... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Wendy "git's it".
    Go Wendy!!!!!
    Go Battleground Texas!!!!

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