Friday, May 6, 2016

Testing! Ugh! Good God, Y'all!

What is is good for? Absolutely NOTHING!

My children do not take the state "mandated" standardized tests their school administers. There are a number of reasons for this:


1. They don't need to sit through hours of clicking (or filling in) bubbles when they could be doing something that is actually good for their brains.

2. I trust their teachers to know what they are learning a LOT more than I trust some random test put together by Jimbo Jones down in Test 'O' Rama Town.
3. I don't want their results to be used against the (fan-freaking-tastic) school they attend or the (a-bloody-mazing) teachers they are assigned to.
4. I don't think Penny-Plundering-Pearson, or any other testing corporation for that matter, needs any more money when my children's teachers haven't been given a cost of living raise in YEARS!
5. Testing of this nature is NOT about student learning.  It's about data mining and "gotcha" politics. There's no place for that in my children's educations.

Okay--I could go on and on and on and on and on (you see what I'm getting at here?). . . . . .


The thing is this: My children are one of a handful of families who opt out of the testing in our district.  The "opt out movement" hasn't really gained any traction in my part of the country.  I wonder about this.  I especially wonder about this when teachers themselves say they, "like the test so I can see where (fill in the blank with snowflake's name) is at."


REALLY?!


Have you tried. . . oh, I don't know. . . .TALKING TO THEIR TEACHER ABOUT WHERE THEY ARE "AT"?!?!?!?!?  How intelligent people can fail to grasp that a standardized test is no substitute for the trained professional, who works with their child every day, is utterly beyond me.  I can (sort of) see how that might be the case for someone who doesn't know about standardized testing in a general sense but. . . other teachers? I don't get it.  Unless those folks like the ego-stroke that a high score gives them.  A sort of self-congratulatory, "You have this parenting thing DIALED IN" which they can point to and feel good about themselves. I honestly don't know.  I'm not sure I want to.


I do know this though. . . my kids (both my children and my students) get that these tests have nothing to do with them. . . .not really.  As one student said today, "If this is supposed to be so important, why don't you get to write the test? Why is it this stuff that I don't care about?"


I don't know, kid.  I don't know.