Elementary school teachers in New York are complaining about the standardized testing provided by Common Core State Standards (CCSS) that are “unclear and inappropriate”.
One teacher remarked : “No one has ever seen a test that more poorly assessed the ability of their students that it had. The test had nothing to do with the Common Core state standards.”
A principal said: “We protected the children from the worst of the test. I don’t think most of them were too stressed out, but I think as educators and adults we were horrified and we feel the need to speak out.”
Parents have planned a protest in Brooklyn, New York to expose the disaster that is CCSS.
A 3rd grade teacher recalled : “I’ve had children break down crying because they’re so frustrated by the tests.”
This teacher compared CCSS testing to abuse; while the principal said: “There was inappropriate content, many highly ambiguous questions, and a focus on structure rather than meaning of passages.”
Many parents have removed their kids from these standardized tests – equaling 70% of the student body not being present.
New York Mayor Bill de Blassio spoke to the press about the frustration parents are expressing over CCSS.
de Blassio said: “I understand their frustrations. When my children were participating in high stakes testing, I saw the same dynamics I think a lot of other parents have seen. The kids feel very nervous, they feel very overwhelmed by the process.”
The mayor stated: “We are clear that we’re going to do everything in our power to move away from high stakes testing. I think parents are keying into something that’s very real in terms of wanting to see a more balanced system. A certain number of actions were taken by the previous administration that were optional, if you will, that were the choice of New York City to put more weight on high stakes tests. We’re going to roll back a number of those actions. And I think parents who have a concern about high stakes testing are going to be reassured by that.”
One journalist remarked that the public is hoping “Common Core isn’t another industry-driven attempt to fit individual students into scannable documents. Some fear Common Core is more of an economic than an education measure. Other well-meaning but disturbing trends I’ve already witnessed are the soul-killing writing programs that read like robotic manuals, loss of time to simply read for pleasure, and the regimentation of teaching by policymakers to the point at which one school was told to teach the same lessons at the same time of day by grade level, so a visitor could walk from class to class and witness uniform teaching!”
Economist Allison Schrager warns that CCSS sets that “benchmark for what American students should know about math and reading at different grade levels.”
Schrager asserts: “The concept of common standards and regular assessment should not be questioned. Blocking information because you fear how it might be used in the future does not help anyone. As the US moves toward uniform standards there will be a learning curve and some mistakes made. But the only way to get better is information and transparency.”
This economist claims that “parents who ‘opt out’ have done education reform a disservice. Like it or not, testing is the best way to produce uniform standards and accountability. Opting out is more common among higher income families. If the kids from rich families don’t take the test how can we know what poorer children are or aren’t getting from their schools?”