Saturday, August 30, 2014

Declaration of Independence from Testing

By:  Dr. Mark Naison 

Little by little, the American Public is waking up to the realization that the vast majority of people who call themselves "School Reformers" are dishonest as well as incompetent.

They have no idea how to evaluate teachers.

They have no idea how to inspire students.

They have no respect for parents or teachers.

The policies they have unleashed are destabilizing communities, making teachers hate their jobs, making students hate school.They are also increasing gaps in educational performance by race and class.

It is time to bring their machine to a halt by refusing to cooperate with their testing and electing candidates who will end Common Core and stop closing public schools in favor of charters.

We can do this. We MUST do this. The stakes are very high


  1. We need to band together to end this insanity THIS school year. The momentum has started, but we must make sure nobody is able to stop it.

  2. But its picking up in other places. I work for a charter school that is connected to a large urban district. Our school tesst our students to death. They don't get extra curricular activities like other school because of the focus on academics and the need to educate as cheaply as possible. And this year after having opened a second school on the other side of town they expected us to create standardized final assessments for both campuses.
    To give you a little insight. One school is almost entirely ESL learners and the other school is 80% African American. Two completely different cultures and backgrounds. And all of the final exams and unit assessments are supposed to be done before we even meet the students. And we use terms like "backwards mapping" to make it sound like we're not teaching to a test. I thought we made fun of No Child for some these reasons.
    Most of our teachers are first year or new to teaching through a program like TFA.
    On top of that they expect more from us. The last two years they have added time to our day without asking or involving us in the process. We are tasked with other duties and expected to excel at them. Like every teacher has to teach reading...every teacher. We are a charter so there is no union backing or tenure to work in our favor. I spoke up and pointed out that I didn't want students to become drones and not 6 months later my position has been cut to part time. I know other teachers feel the way I do. In fact many of them left but these students are fantastic and its hard to leave them.
    But in all honestly these blogs are helping a lot its nice to know there are others out there and as long as we are the ones in the classroom eventually change will be inevitable. I just want it now.


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