Revolution against high-stakes testing
By now you have no doubt heard about the push to end high stakes testing in Texas and beyond. I have dreamt of this moment for more than twelve years when I discovered my first grader was being “taught” how to bubble-in TAKS tests a full two years before he was scheduled to even take the test – wow! For the past six months we have been hearing from so many across the state, including our recently resigned Education Commissioner, Robert Scott, about how testing is marginalizing our educational system. I couldn’t agree more!
What does all of this mean for the academically gifted student? If education truly becomes student-driven, the ceilings will be shattered and all students will benefit. If education continues to teach within the four walls of a classroom, I’m afraid that not much will change. Some other way of measuring progress will creep into school and ensure the rooftop is secure once again.
We finally have an opportunity to move forward into the 21st Century and stay there. Standardized tests have held us back as long as possible – publishing companies will work hard to find another way to steal our children’s education dollars and prevent real learning from occurring everyday. As parents and teachers, we must be vigilant and insist that our legislators and administrators hear from us as they attempt to navigate through the murky waters ahead. Coppell ISD has been a leader in this effort. Get involved, come to school board meetings and other public forums.
From our visionary CISD Superintendent, Dr. Jeff Turner:
There is a grassroots effort underway nationwide, but in Texas we are calling it a Revolution…a revolution against standardized, high stakes testing, and the Lone Star State is leading the charge! From the Education Commissioner’s public statement (in January) that this kind of testing has become a “…perversion…” of its original intent, to the February letter authored by Coppell ISD and the eight other school districts belonging to the North Texas Regional Consortium (NTRC), resolutions of support (read CISD’s) have been signed from the east to the west coast. As of the posting of this e-newsletter, over 400 school districts representing more than 2 million public school children across the state have passed the Resolution Concerning High Stakes Testing, Standardized Testing of Texas Public School Students. To better understand the issue I recommend reading some of the most recent articles including “When Pineapple Races Hare, Students Lose, Critics of Standardized Tests Say” (The New York Times), “In Texas, a Revolt Brews Against Standardized Testing” (TheWashington Post), “Stalking the Vampire in Texas” and “The Problem is Bigger Than a Pineapple” (Education Week).