QOD: A Public School Mom on the Anti-Test Movement’s Hostility Towards Data

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Lynnell Mickelson, a “long-time progressive Democrat,” at Education Post:

Can we be clear? When the sole responsibility for test outcomes was on the children, there was little to no organized test resistance. But as soon as some of the responsibility shifted to the adults, oh my God! Let the weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth begin. Oh, the inhumanity! Oh, the stress of “high-stakes”! Oh, the loss of childhood! Oh, the corporate conspiracy of Pearson! And so forth. 

I’m not entirely unsympathetic to the anti-test movement. Some districts test too much. Endless rote test prep is dumb. Art, music and gym are all crucial and belong in the curriculum 

 But the organized movement to dump standardized testing and replace it with projects or individual teacher’s tests, also strikes me as blatant attempt to dump the evidence.

One more thing—this is a mostly white, Crunchy Mama, privileged-driven argument that overlaps a bit with the anti-vaccination rhetoric. Like the anti-vaccinators, Opt-Out parents seem confident that their children are not in danger. And if parents are confident their kid is brilliant and on-track to college, it’s easy to dismiss standardized tests as a drag on Little Dylan’s creativity.

But if these same parents find out Little Dylan can’t read in fourth-grade or is three years behind in math, even though the teacher keeps showing them his wonderful art work—well, that’s when I suspect standardized testing becomes more important as does the location of the nearest Kumon math school. Etc. 

Check your privilege, people. Just sayin’.

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