A Month of Opting out Of Standardized Tests: Day 3

This is the third of 20 posts I will be writing during the PARCC testing window of March 9 – April 10.  If you’re interested in the growing master list of reasons we opted out of standardized tests in 2015, you can find it here.

Reason 3:  Narrowing Curriculumteachtothetest-e1393301251635

There can be no question that the curriculum in our public schools has narrowed considerably since NCLB in the early 2000’s.  Subjects such as social studies, the arts, even science were relegated to secondhand status in order to focus on standardized tests.  Now we have the Common Core State Standards for English / Language Arts and Math along with a new set of tests (PARCC and Smarter Balance).

The introduction of CCSS has further kicked the “other” subjects in school to the curb because the stakes for PARCC and Smarter Balance are higher than ever.  In reaction, schools made the rational decision to allocate resources, time and attention to preparing for the test.  By placing 100% of our attention on student “achievement” on these two tests, we have essentially told our students that nothing else matters.  And our students are listening.

For tomorrow:  Harming Children