"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Friday, April 27, 2012

Opt Out Movement Grows As Resistance to High Stakes Tests Intensifies

ht to Stan Karp:

NJ Spotlight
Reilly, a former literacy director in Newark and then assistant superintendent in Hackensack as well as Morristown, said it has clearly led to a narrowing of curriculum that is only harming students. She is now a consultant in coaching teachers, including in New York City. “People don’t know what their children are no longer doing in school,” she said. “I’m hoping people will stand up and say this isn’t appropriate any more.”

In less than a week, over 4000 individuals and 170 organizations have signed on to this campaign which builds on efforts in Texas, NY, Florida and elsewhere to pushback against the testing regime.

NYC parent activist Leonie Haimson recaps how exposing absurd questions on an 8th grade language arts exam touched a nerve and helped spark growing resistance to the misuse and overuse of standardized testing.

Nearly 1000 NY professors, educators and researchers are calling for an end to test-driven reform and “just policies to transform the public schools in New York.”

The Answer Sheet
The State Education Department signed a five-year, $32 million agreement with NCS Pearson to develop English Language Arts and math assessments in grades three to eight. In fact, math testing was administered over three days this week for 1.2 million students. Pearson has grown immensely over the last decade, securing contracts with many states required to test students under the No Child Left Behind Act. This year it succeeded CTB/McGraw-Hill as New York’s test vendor.

[Note: Pearson is also heavily involved in NJ state testing, and recently received multi-million subsidies from the Christie Administration. See following item:

The British media giant Pearson PLC, whose holdings include Pearson Education, a testing and textbook publishing company that produces the NJASK tests, will receive large subsidies from NY & NJ to relocate 1300 jobs away from its facilities in Upper Saddle River in Bergen Co. NY will give Pearson $50 million in subsidies to move 630 jobs to NYC and NJ will provide $66 in subsidies to relocate 650 jobs to Hoboken.

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