Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Worksheets for Elementary Opt-Out Students

From the Parent to Parent Grassroots website, a local parent education and advocacy group, some worksheets for students who opt-out so they will have something to do while waiting for other classmates to finish testing. 

Also, from Crunchy Moms website, Eleven Reasons to Refuse Standardized Testing for Your Children. 

I particularly like these (partial):

Number two
Standardized tests are developmentally inappropriate for young students. If you’d like to see the tests in action: go here for a practice PARCC exam and here for a practice Smarter Balanced exam. While you’re there, consider if a third grader has the computer skills to simultaneously scroll two screens, highlight, drag and drop, and type as the test requires. 
Number three
Preparing for and administering standardized tests uses hours of instructional time.  Both the Smarter Balanced exam and PARCC use complex computer interfaces.  Test takers need practice learning how to navigate the test screens in preparation for the actual test.  Those experiences teach children nothing except how to take one test, and thus are wasted instructional time.
Number six 
Test validity is questionable for PARCC and Smarter Balanced.  First of all, Sarah Blaine explains in “Pearson’s Wrong Answer,” when test content is hidden, the public cannot hold companies like Pearson accountable for providing a quality product.  Exams could be riddled with errors and the public would never know.  Next, the rushed creation of the tests resulted in technology problems.  Florida schools are experiencing major issues with technology, and my city was the first to report to the Maine DOE computer glitches that disadvantaged test takers.  Lastly, their is the issue of rigor.  Often test questions appear rigorous, but actually its the question the is hard, not the material.  

Number eight (and I previously brought up this issue of "what are the test results really being used for?")
The scores from standardized tests are used inappropriately.   A test is designed with a specific purpose.  When data is used to make conclusions outside that purpose, then it is no longer valid.  The tests children are supposed to take designed to evaluate their mastery of specific standards.  When the scores are then used to evaluate a teacher or rank a school, it is invalid.
Number nine 
Refusing testing supports your children’s teachers.  I’m angered that the risk of losing a job for noncompliance forces teachers to silence their professional opinions. Teachers had next to no say in the creation of the Common Core State Standards and their subsequent adoption in states, and they also had little input into the creation of these tests and their government mandated use in schools.  When you refuse the test, you tell your child’s teacher: I respect your professional standing, so I trust you to use your education and training to best serve my child.
Number ten 
Refusing the tests deprives the system of its fuel.The theory behind opting out is if enough people refuse the test, the data is no longer valid.  Federal and state governments mandate that states test all students to keep the data valid.  The current system sees children as data points to manipulate.  Refusing the test states that your child is more than a test score.  When large numbers opt out, that data should drive change

1 comment:

mirmac1 said...

My daughter has been doing worksheets for a week in Geometry. And she's not in 11th grade. The repercussions are unevaluated and ignored by the district