More ammunition for foes of high-stakes testing has come in the form of a survey of North Carolina teachers showing that more than half those polled say they devote over half their classroom time to preparing for high-stakes tests.
The results have been publicized at virtually the same time as the annual MetLife Survey of the American Teacher, which showed this year that teacher job satisfaction is at its lowest in more than two decades, as my colleague Liana Heitin reported yesterday.
The North Carolina survey of more than 600 teachers statewide and an accompanying report from the North Carolina NAACP, Advocates for Children's Services, and the Advancement Project (a civil rights group that tackles community inequities), also showed that nearly 90 percent of teachers thought the state's end-of-grade and end-of-course tests damaged teacher morale.
Those tests fulfill state accountability requirements, and some of them also fulfill the federal No Child Left Behind Act accountability requirements, said Alexi Freeman, a staff attorney with the Advancement Project.
"It can ruin cooperation among teachers, lead to handpicking of students and punishment of teachers who want to work with 'struggling' students, and weaken curriculum by increasing the prevalence of narrowly 'teaching to the test,'" said the report called "Taking Back Our Classrooms!"
The survey's results also revealed more than three-quarters of teachers surveyed think such high-stakes tests are driving "good teachers" out of the profession.
This is happening in many grades in New York State already too - and soon it will be happening in ALL grades in ALL subjects, K-12.
Don't you love the Orwellian language the corporate politicians use to describe their corporate reform - NYStudentsFirst.
A reform that promotes new standardized tests in every grade in every subject - both state and local - and ties teachers' jobs to those scores - is termed "NYStudentsFirst."
Gee - where did Cuomo get that name from?
Isn't there another corporate education reform group with that name?
And then of course the corporate reformers at Tweed call their reforms "Children First."
What none of these corporate pols and corporate reformers acknowledge in public is that all of these reforms are actually termed in private "Testing Companies First."
If you don't believe this is so, just ask the students and teachers in North Carolina.