High Stakes Tests Good for Kids and Taxpayers? This Parent NOT Buying it ! -Response to FL Commissioner of Education


I am revising this blog and forwarding it to our Florida Commissioner of Education who recently spoke at the FL School Board Association Meeting.

The Tampa Bay Times reports, “People have a right to speak out, [the Commissioner] offers, and that [high stakes testing] resolution is a “perfect example of adults expressing concern about the future. Unfortunately, the resolution is short on providing hope to schoolchildren who are Florida’s future.”

This parent disagrees. 

No, we parents/taxpayers/ adults do not think high stakes standardized testing gives school children “Hope”.

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No, we see valuable class time (nearly 1/3 of a typical school year by much estimation) spent in standardized testing, test prep, test remediation, test validation, etc. We see an exorbitant amount of our taxpaying dollars spent ($250 million dollars to Pearson) paying testing companies for these tests. We are well aware of inaccurate scoring and invalid test questions (all while they profit immensely). 

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As a parent and a taxpayer, high stakes testing fail in each regard. We are graduating students who are bubble sheet ready rather than career ready. We know, as one parent said, “Doing the same thing over and over again while expecting a different outcome is the definition of insanity!” You will have a hard time convincing a parent that excessive testing and all the negative labels attached to our children, combined with our wasted tax dollars, gives hope. It does not.

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It is, in fact, the definition of insanity.

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I hope those who read this article will read further on this topic. Read Dr. Diane Ravitch, who once agreed with No Child Left Behind and all this high stakes testing. She reminds us to: “Attack the soundness of the tests. The standardized tests crush creativity, enforce routine and rote thinking. These bubble tests are not good for education or for our kids. The tests are flawed with multiple errors: They involve random error, statistical error, and measurement errors. They are certainly not good enough to decide lives.” (via Twitter) She also reminds us that parents are the key: ‘When parents awaken, game over.’
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Which countries lead in education, globally? Try Finland. And, surprise, surprise, they do not buy in to this high stakes testing culture. Finland does not even have a word in their language for ‘accountability’. Go figure.

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This parent is not buying it … 

Wear Red for Ed

Originally, this blog was my response to Tampa Bay Times article entitled, “FCAT Pressure Help Students and Teachers to Achieve” 

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One thought on “High Stakes Tests Good for Kids and Taxpayers? This Parent NOT Buying it ! -Response to FL Commissioner of Education

  1. Reblogged this on Continuing Change and commented:

    I revised this response to an earlier Tampa Bay Times article – It is an appropriate response to FL Commissioner of Ed’s recent comments regarding the National Resolution on High Stakes Testing. 6/15/12

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