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Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Battle over high-stakes testing heats up

This is great news!

Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, tweeted and wrote on her Facebook page that she supports parents who opt out of the PARCC tests. She had previously spoken out of behalf of opting out when participating in a parent-teacher rally at Fort Drum, New York.

Now she says that if she were a parent of children in the public schools of New York, she would opt out too.

Opting out is not about helping the teachers’ union or opposing accountability. It is a message to governors and legislators, to Congress and the Obama administration that testing is out of control. 

Testing is not teaching. Since the passage of NCLB (No Child Left Behind) in 2001-02, billions of dollars have been spent on test prep and testing. 

In the case of the Common Core tests, the results are not reported for 4-6 months, the teacher is not allowed to see what students got right or wrong. The tests have no diagnostic value. None. 

They are used solely to rank and rate students, teachers, principals, and schools. Furthermore, they are designed to fail the majority of students because of the absurd “cut scores” (passing mark) pegged to NAEP’s proficient level. We are the most over tested nation in the world. Enough!

Any politician who advocates for the tests should do one simple thing: Take the eighth grade math test and publish your score.

Thank you, Randi, for personally endorsing opt out! Encourage your members across the nation to join those who are defending their students and their profession. It is hard to stand up alone; in unity there is strength.
She wrote on her Facebook page:
I have been in NY alot fighting shoulder to shoulder with educators and parents against Cuomo’s wrongheaded actions. I was asked the question abt opt out today and this is what I tweeted out.

We believe parents have right to opt-out & tchrs shld be able to advise parents how. We’ve said it repeatedly, are fighting for it in ESEA.

@lacetothetop et al have asked what I’d do if I had kids in NYPS—based on what I’ve seen, if I had kids, I’d opt them out of the PEARSON (PAARC) tests this yr

It’s crazy what’s happening in NY, w/ Cuomo leading the misuse of testing. We understand why @NYSUT and parents are calling for an opt-out