It used to be a rite of passage as a student to sharpen your #2 pencils and get ready for a full day of test-taking, but for many kids, the days of standardized testing are on the decline.
The Seattle Times reports that, with increasing frequency, many parents are opting out of standardized tests for their kids, and the reasons for doing so are plentiful. Some parents don’t want to put their kids through the anxiety of test taking at a young age, while others resent what they see as corporate interests infiltrating schools. Still, others wish to protest what many parents feel is a flawed measurement of learning and teacher competence and would like to see educational reforms that move away from “teaching to the test.”
The opt-out movement, which has been greatly fueled by social media and other online venues, has grown in popularity in the last few years. In Seattle, an entire high school opted out of test taking, and things have heated up in other schools across the country. In Providence, R.I., several parents posed as zombies and marched in front of the statehouse to protest a requirement that students must have a minimum score on a state test in order for them to graduate.
Although there are few consequences for parents and students for opting out of testing, especially in lower grades, many schools receive funding for having 95% or more of their students participate.
In addition to funding, Kristen Jaudon, a spokeswoman for the Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction, argues that standardized tests are used to recognize if a child is doing poorly in a particular subject as well as whether the current curriculums are working.
The head of the Center on Education Policy, Maria Ferguson, says she thinks the practice of parents pulling their kids out of standardized tests is symbolic. “I think it shows that people are very scared and very confused by tests,” she said. “I think it’s representative that testing has a branding problem.”
What do you think, moms? Have you ever pulled your child from standardized test taking, or would you do so? Share your thoughts below!
Source: The Seattle Times