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You may have heard about Kathy Newmann, a parent who is opting her nine-year old 3rd grader Jacob out of this year’s PSSA testing. Kathy is also an English professor at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and the latest to join other parents around the country who are finally saying NO to the annual spring state testing period.
In Illinois it’s called the ISAT. In New York they are now called ELAs. Every state’s students, teachers, administrators and parents are well aware of what teaching and learning look like before, during and after these tests. The scores will then be posted in the newspaper to compare school to school, district to district and state to state rather than supporting student learning, growth and development. Schools have other formative and summative assessments which serve that purpose. Many consider these state tests to be a multi-billion dollar anxiety-filled, add-on the Department of Education hangs their hat on each year without any research that tells us it’s good for educational reform. Montgomery County (MD) Superintendent Dr. Joshua Starr is the latest leader to call for a test sabbatical (detailed below).
For some kids the annual test-fest is an opportunity to feel a sense of confidence in their academic skills. For others including me when I was a kid, these weeks of testing are filled with anxiety and a sense of defeat. Hearing my teachers tell me they can’t help me or explain to me what I am to do to solve a problem is something I can still remember as an adult.
This week on #ptchat, we’ll discuss standardized tests, and why an increasing number of parents are choosing to opt their children out of these assessments (See United Opt Out National). We’ve invited parents who are actively opting their children out of these tests to join our conversation. Join us on Wednesday, April 10th at 9PM EDT / 6PM PST.