A Month of Opting Out of Standardized Tests: Day 4

This is the fourth 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 4: Harming Children

Over the past few years schools have made great sacrifices in order to raise standardized test scores.  Examples include doing away with nap time in kindergarten, giving students less recess and physical education, cutting school nurses, firing school librarians, and discontinuing musical programs.

These sacrifices are being made despite the enormous body of research that says they benefit children. 5 year-olds need nap time.  Sick kids need medical attention.  All kids need physical activity.  Libraries without librarians are just big rooms full of books, and in some schools they are even getting rid of the books.   Then we have examples of how testing is used as a form of public humiliation in the form of data walls.

 

Coming Soon: New Testing Center
Coming Soon: New Testing Center

This is just a sampling of how we hurt our children by devoting our time, resources, and attention to testing instead of their well-being.  The worst part is that our neediest students are the children that need these things the most, yet they are the first ones to lose them as underfunded schools cut and test, cut and test.  At least there’s a significant body of research showing that testing benefits children far more than the things we are sacrificing for higher scores… Oh wait, no there isn’t.

For tomorrow: Ridiculous Preparation