The anger over standardized testing from parents and teachers throughout the United States is becoming common knowledge. Today’s print edition of the New York Times ran an op-ed column with the title “Rage Against the Common Core”, and with good reason. At the start of 2015 states like Ohio, Tennessee, Mississippi, Arkansas and West Virginia will become further entangled in legislative conflict over the federal testing program. With the trend picking up steam, David Kirp shared some interesting facts;
- Last spring, between 55,000 and 65,000 New York State students opted out of taking tests linked to the Common Core.
- In a Phi Delta Kappa/Gallup poll conducted last spring, 57 percent of public school parents opposed “having teachers in your community use the Common Core State Standards to guide what they teach,” nearly double the proportion of those who supported the goals.
- In New York, the number of students who scored “proficient” plummeted by about 30 percentage points in 2013, the first year of testing.
- A Gallup poll found that while 76 percent of teachers favored nationwide academic standards for reading, writing and math, only 27 percent supported using tests to gauge students’ performance, and 9 percent favored making test scores a basis for evaluating teachers.
Kirp argues that rolling out national standards in itself isn’t bad, and that high-stakes testing is what is killing any support for the program and fanning the flames of the opposition. While many parents and teachers would welcome higher standards… They don’t want all of the things that come along with those higher standards. What happens when national standards are accompanied by even higher stakes testing? When 8th and 9th graders suddenly are upended by testing that bulldozes the standards that they were taught up until only a few months ago? When test questions contain plugs for corporations or promote religious ideologies? When your elementary-aged child has homework that looks like this? When your child’s personal information is taken and spread around?
What happens is, you get rage against Common Core and high-stakes testing.
It’s about time.
With serious questions arising about how Common Core is data mining our children, southern states are preparing to back out on the federal standards in education. Here at Take Back Your Classrooms, we are going to give people a nonpartisan perspective on this educational crisis, and hopefully a way out. If enough of us make noise, at the right time, to the right people, then I believe that we can force our lawmakers to remove this cancer from our children’s lives. Join us, and let’s take back our classrooms!