“We can get the same information from low-pressure testing of small samples of students every few years, each student taking only a part of the test, and extrapolating the results to larger groups. This will save taxpayers’ money, reduce testing anxiety, and give teachers more time to teach. When you go to the doctor, they don’t take all your blood. They only take a sample.” — Professor Stephen Krashen
The Honorable José Lara is a teacher in the Los Angeles Unified School District and the Vice President of the El Rancho Unified School District. He is the Coordinator for ethnicstudiesnow.com and recipient the National Education Association's 2015 Social Justice Activist Award.
Open Letter to Parents on Common Core Testing Results
Soon California will release the results of your child’s Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, or SBAC tests. These tests are also known and the new Common Core test that California and states across the country implemented last year.
Please know that as you receive the results of your child's SBAC scores our child’s results may show up as failures. This does not mean that your child is not intelligent, that your child's teacher is doing a poor job or that the school your child is attending is failing. However, it does mean that the SBAC test is achieving expected results. You see, the SBAC test is a failure by design.
The testing company, who was hired to design the SBAC tests,with no input from educators, has purposely designed it to produce a high failure rate. This is so those same testing companies can now sell your child's school the "new" curriculum, test prep materials, intervention programs, textbooks, apps, technologies, etc.to bring up test scores. Not only that, they also hope to fool enough people that they start demanding "better" schools (mind you the problem is the test not the school). Corporate Charter Schools can then come in and takeover. All the while the fat cat CEO's of these corporations make a killing off of our tax dollars.
This moves hundreds of millions of dollars from the public to the private sector where the focus is not in educating our children, but instead making a profit. After all, that is purpose of the business model.
So I write you to take heed of the your child’s results. The results are not a true measure of anything except that the test is working, as it was designed to produce failure. Do not be fooled.
I write to you as a parent of two public school children and as a teacher to warn you of what is coming and to tell you that, no your child is not a failure and yes your child is more that just a test score. A test does not teach students anything, but teachers and schools do.
Lastly, if you are as upset as I am of this planned failure and the enormous about of money that is being wasted on this tests, then join me in opting out of school testing. There is a growing national movement to stop to over testing of our children and you actually have the right to opt out to have your child in a meaningful educational experience instead of testing. It is time to join this quite revolution against wrongful and over-testing of our children.
You can find more information about on the website here at www.unitedoptout.com