Signs of change?
A number of parents, teachers, AND administrators in Texas, of all places, are beginning to pull out from, or protest against, the huge number of standardized machine-scored tests that they feel are sucking the life out of education. Or that’s what it describes in this article in the New York Times today 2/4/12.
A few excerpts:
In the Panhandle, the Hereford Independent School District superintendent may withhold her district’s test scores from the state. An Austin parent is considering a lawsuit to stop the rollout of the tests. Some legislators are mulling how to postpone some of the tests’ consequences for students.
In a high-level turnaround, Robert Scott, the commissioner of the Texas Education Agency, said Tuesday that student testing in the state had become a “perversion of its original intent” and that he looked forward to “reeling it back” in the future. Earning a standing ovation from an annual gathering of 4,000 educators that has given him chillier receptions in the past, Mr. Scott called for an accountability process that measured “every other day of a school’s life besides testing day.”
Many viewed the speech as a reversal for Mr. Scott, who has rarely spoken publicly against the role of standardized testing in public schools. He declined to talk about his remarks for this article.
“I think he sees that we are at a cusp of philosophical changes in the Legislature and across the state over what we’ve been doing the past few years with accountability and whether there’s been any worthwhile gain from all the testing we’ve done,” said Joe Smith, a former superintendent […]
Kelli Moulton, the superintendent of Hereford I.S.D., is considering an outright rebellion. She said that she was still exploring the repercussions of refusing to send her students’ test scores to the agency but that she was encouraged by Mr. Scott’s remarks.
“We talk a lot, but nobody’s stepped off to do anything really bold,” she said. “Clearly now as a state, at least with a leader who is willing to say testing has gone too far, when do we put a stick in a wheel and say, that’s enough, stop? Because we are going to spend the next 10 years trying to slow that wheel down, and we’ve got 10 years of kids that are suffering.”
It also may be a sign of shifting political tides. […]
What would it take to get a real public uprising against the destruction of our public school system? How do we organize a real movement in favor of having a free, publicly-funded and -run, enriching, engaging and useful education for all of our students?