From today’s NJEA press release, announcing the beginning of a $1 million anti-Christie TV ad campaign that will start running in Philadelphia and New York markets:
“’Our public schools are still at or near the top in the nation, but not all is well right now,” said [former NJEA President Barbara] Keshishian. Our schools continue to do a great job against tall odds, but teachers and parents are becoming increasingly distressed about the impact of deep budget cuts and an impending explosion of standardized testing’…Equally troubling is mounting student anxiety about test-taking, and parents are concerned that the focus on tested subjects is narrowing the curriculum, while forcing teachers to ‘teach to the test.’”
From today’s Star-Ledger story about a poll just released by Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research at the University of Chicago:
“Most parents interviewed believe their kids take the right amount of standardized tests.”
In fact, according to the poll, only 26% of parents believe that their children take too many tests.
So it’s up in the air as to whether NJ families are opposed to either current levels of testing or even more testing. Certainly, some parents believe that their children are overburdened and that the (pending, pending) implementation of the Common Core State Standards will further distort the careful balance of instruction and assessment. NJEA successfully takes that meme and creates a whole marketing campaign. Good for them.
It’s worth noting here the fascinating composition of the anti-testing cohort that, typical of anti-education reform, attracts both union stalwarts and Tea Party activists.
See, for example, the New Jersey branch of United Opt Out National, which bills itself as “The Movement to End Corporate Education Reform” Fans include union mamelah Diane Ravitch, who wrote yesterday for her audience of suburban parents,
When suburban parents have the visionary leadership…they will not fall for the lie that three-quarters of their children are failures. They will catch on: the kids did not fail. The tests were designed to label them as failures. Suburban parents will see this, rightly, as an assault on their children, not “reform.” And they will tell their elected officials to stop these crazy policies that hurt children.
And now see a recent story from the Cape May Herald featuring Carolee Adams, fierce opponent of the Common Core and its attendant testing and, also, NJ State President of the Eagle Forum:
WILDWOOD – Concerned Citizens of Southern N.J. will host a meeting to explore Common Core, what it is and how to stop it Mon. May 20, at the Carpenter’s Shop, 4505 Park Blvd. Doors open 6:30 p.m.
Special guest speaker will be State President Carolee Adams, New Jersey Eagle Forum- a national organization which has led a national pro-family movement since 1972.
NJEA and the Eagle Forum. Strange bedfellows indeed.