It is hard to really capture the story of how we ended up with a system so completely devoted to overtesting students with such dire intensity for such dreadful purposes. And the arguments about choosing not to take the test are pretty heated and full of emotional baggage. This piece does a great job of explaining what the fuss is, how it came to be, and why opting out is the right side of the fuss to take.
This piece from CityPages was a wake-up call for many teachers when it first ran back in 2011. If you’ve always imagined that your standardized tests are shipped off somewhere to be scored by highly trained readers who share your professional background, values, and commitment to educating students, guess again. The essay-scoring business most closely resembles a minimum wage sweatshop, and this thorough piece lets you talk to some of the people who have seen the sweatshop from the inside.
“Oh, it really helps my students to have tons of standardized tests,” said no teacher ever.
Jessie Ramey at yinzercation (an education blog out of Pittsburgh) offers a good, straightforward list of thirteen ways in which the current high stakes testing regimen is bad for students.
As we enter standardized test season, many parents around the country are choosing to have their child opt out (not take the test). How that works varies from state to state. Here’s a first-person account of how it went for one mother in Colorado, where it is apparently okay to smoke dope, but not skip out on the Big Test.