Tuesday, October 20, 2015

New Jersey BATs Decry the Use of Standardized Tests.

The Badass Teachers Association was created to give voice to every teacher who refuses to be blamed for the failure of our society to erase poverty and inequality through education. BAT members refuse to accept assessments, tests and evaluations created and imposed by corporate driven entities that have contempt for authentic teaching and learning.

The Badass Teachers Association of New Jersey firmly states that there is no validity in the recent release of the New Jersey Partnership for Assessment for Readiness of College and Career scores and reaffirms their mission to work to eradicate such measures that are being used to punish our children, our teachers, and our schools.

A single score on a single test cannot possibly measure the daily events that occur in our public school systems. These tests were not designed by classroom teachers and the results have been released with many inherent flaws.

- These tests were aligned to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), the implementation of which was so botched that the state of New Jersey is now working on revisions.

- The CCSS implementation was done as a top down initiative across all grade levels, creating a 'bubble' of students who do not have the educational background of having these standards throughout their educational careers, yet were subjected to these closely tied tests as an assessment.

- The administration of the test across the state was met with many issues including but not limited to - loss of internet access, computers with no sound-cards to enable text-to-speech features, classified students who did not receive accommodations that were outlined in their IEP, disorganized scheduling that caused extreme loss of instructional time and tore away at the consistency that children need to create a positive learning environments.

The validity of the cut scores remains extremely questionable in light of the knowledge that there is a direct agenda of several parties to label our schools as failing in order to close down and reorganize districts in ways that best benefits and feed the bank accounts of private interests. It is a known fact that results on standardized tests relate heavily to socio-economic backgrounds; a fact that logically precludes the conclusion that these tests are not a true measure of learning. These tests have been established as a tool to label public schools, specifically in urban communities, as failing.

The fact that the New Jersey Department of Education is not forthcoming with all of the information about the PARCC scores in one public release that includes educational stakeholders is a testament to the knowledge they hold that the educational decisions made under Governor Chris Christie are not what is best for our children.

The purpose, the client, and the reason for education is to benefit the children. As an organization, we vehemently decry the use of these tests to measure the value of our school systems, our teachers, and our students. 

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