An Opt Out must read.

I have been involved in the Opt Out movement for two years and have read many articles and opinion pieces about boycotting high-stakes standardized testing.  This essay from the The New Yorker hits home on many levels, including the history of testing, is the best piece I have read to date.

A must read:

http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/comment/2014/01/the-defiant-parents-testings-discontents.html?mobify=0

These two paragraphs stand out as to why most opt out parents are fighting against the testing machine: Everyone’s children.

“Parents who complain about testing—particularly affluent, educated ones—are easily derided, as they were by Arne Duncan, President Obama’s Education Secretary, a few months ago, when he described critics of the Common Core as “white suburban moms who—all of a sudden—[find] their child isn’t as brilliant as they thought they were, and their school isn’t quite as good as they thought they were.” But parents who challenge the status quo on testing are not motivated by a deluded pride in their children’s unrecognized accomplishments, or by a fear that their property values will diminish if their schools’ scores’ drop. They are, in many cases, driven by a conviction that a child’s performance on a standardized test is an inadequate, unreliable measure of that child’s knowledge, intelligence, aptitude, diligence, and character—and a still more unreliable measure of his teachers’ effort, skill, perseverance, competence, and kindness. 

They are also motivated by the belief that those parents who are least equipped to speak out are the mothers and fathers of the children who are most vulnerable—the most likely to have their educations diminished by months of repetitive test prep, most likely to find themselves reduced to the statistical data at the wrong end of the bell curve. Parents in this year’s opt-out movement are standing up for something larger than their own child’s test-day happiness: the conviction that all children have better things to do with their days than fill in bubbles on a multiple-choice sheet, and that all children have better things to do with their heads than bang them against a table in despair.”

Connect with Chris Cerrone on Twitter: @stoptesting15

Comments

  1. Reblogged this on Upskilling America and commented:
    Opt out or Opt IN?

  2. Margaret Benson says:

    Thanks for posting this Chris. It is an excellent piece, and Ms. Mead seems to have listened to a lot of the arguments the Opt Out people have been making about corporate take-overs. I had not realized that the reaction against testing was getting so strong in New York! Hip, hip HOORAY! But I would be happier if this essay turned up in The New Yorker itself, rather than just on their blog. The issue dated the 27th should be in my mailbox this weekend. I have my fingers crossed.

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