Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

PSMOM Nails The Obnoxious Daily News Editorial Board

The Daily News editorial page is a shrill place.

Yesterday they hammered parents who are opting their children out of the NY State Common Core tests as crybabies who are harming their children by not submitting them to the testing,

The tone of disdain in the editorial is high -it's the kind of disdain and contempt and patronizing scorn that the Daily News editorial writers usually reserve for public school teachers.

This time, they aim it at parents and children.

Here is the editorial in full:

All over New York, parents — some of them — are up in arms over the new state English exam students took last week. The most outraged of the lot had their children boycott the test.

They wailed: It’s too hard. It’s too long. The kids were never properly prepared. The kids were set up to fail.

Yes, they were set up to fail, but not by the test. What these moms and dads need to recognize is that the school system at large has set children up to fail in this increasingly competitive world.

Set up to fail by a curriculum far less rigorous than it needs to be.

Set up to fail by teachers and principals who were clueless as to what it took to prepare a young person for college or a career.

Set up to fail by passing grades on previous tests that required students to show far too little mastery of reading, writing and math.
The English exam was the first geared to new courses that challenge students to read and write more analytically. This week, the students take a math test aligned with material requiring more sophisticated computations.

Rather than attacking the tests, parents should look forward to the grades as the first honest assessment of their kids’ achievement level. And then tell the darlings to suck it up, and help them do better, because they very well can.

A commenter on the piece named PSMOM wrote a fine rebuttal:
How can you call a test an "honest assessment" when the kids being tested have never been taught what is on that test? Why attack teachers and principals as "clueless" when they have simply been doing their best to meet current standards and who often go well beyond that in ways that aren't simply teaching to the test? Why be a bully and call the children of NYC "little darlings"? Let's face it: The state was willing to throw our kids under the bus in order to snap up Race to the Top dollars. They agreed to new standards without bothering to get the kids up to speed. And you say the kids haven't mastered reading and writing? What about the company hired for millions to test them that has made gaffe after gaffe, including the latest G&T embarrassment? Maybe someone should test Pearson on their math skills. Because they seem to be worse than those of the students taking the test this year.

The shrillness we're seeing from the editorial boards over the op-out movement and the pushback to the Common Core standards in general shows how the education reformy types are feeling nervous that their whole reform house of cards is going to come tumbling down before they get it built.

That the DN editorial writers feel just fine about insulting and bullying both the parents and the students in this state who choose to op-out of the tests or question the validity of them ("suck it up...little darlings") also shows you how these reformers don't actually care about either students or parents - they care about getting their reforms through no matter the cost.

Critics of these tests have said again and again, we understand you think that the Common Core is so wonderful and the tests are so great, but since they standards and the tests have never been tested anywhere, why not pilot these changes in over time to make sure they work?

But the politicians and education leaders in this state - along with the media outlets that carry their water - have refused to pilot any of the reforms.

Not Common Core, not Common Core tests, not APPR.

Instead they have pushed everything through as quickly as they could and bludgeoned anybody who questioned the wisdom of these changes with criticism and insults.

That the shrillness level is increasing from the reformy side these days is a positive indication that they really are worried that they won a whole bunch of education reform battles over the last few years only to lose the whole war when parents starting opting their kids out of the system.

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