Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Friday, April 19, 2013

The Anger Over State Standardized Tests Is Growing

It's one of those days when most news takes a backseat to the events happening in Boston, but I did want to post about the NY Times article about the 3rd-8th grade ELA exams.

According to the NY Times story, state officials and Common Core shills are on the defensive over the tests:

Students at the Hostos-Lincoln Academy in the Bronx blamed the English exams for making them anxious and sick. Teachers at Public School 152 in Manhattan said they had never seen so many blank stares. Parents at the Earth School in the East Village were so displeased that they organized a boycott. 

As New York this week became one of the first states to unveil a set of exams grounded in new curricular standards, education leaders are finding that rallying the public behind tougher tests may be more difficult than they expected. 

Complaints were plentiful: the tests were too long; students were demoralized to the point of tears; teachers were not adequately prepared. Some parents, long skeptical of the emphasis on standardized testing, forbade their children from participating. 

Maya Velasquez, 14, an eighth grader at the Columbia Secondary School for Math, Science and Engineering in Upper Manhattan said she had done well on tests in the past.
But when a teacher on Wednesday informed her class that only 15 minutes remained in the exam, she knew she was in trouble. She had only written an introduction to her essay. 

“All the kids were, like, open-mouthed, crazy-shocked and very upset,” she said. 


English exams were given this week for students in the third through eighth grades; math tests begin next week. 

Some parents, particularly at elite schools in Manhattan and Brooklyn, have withdrawn their children from testing this year, joining a broader nationwide opt-out movement. 

At the Earth School, about one-third of students slated to take the tests decided to sit out, parents said.
“The current boycott is against the one song the mayor and the rest of the country have been increasingly singing, which is: test scores, test scores, test scores,” said Casey Fuetsch, a member of the Earth School’s parent advocacy group. 

Even outside of New York City, there was an unusual amount of protest. 

At South Side Middle School in Rockville Centre, on Long Island, more than half of the eighth-grade class, 134 out of 260 students, opted out of the exams, according to the principal, Shelagh McGinn. 

Katie Zahedi, the principal at Linden Avenue Middle School in the Hudson Valley town of Red Hook, where 55 out of 480 students opted out, said education officials too often assumed that more testing would improve results. 

“The amount of disruption this is creating is actually a threat to the quality of education,” Dr. Zahedi said.

Indeed it is. 

And as Fred Smith points out, once these "state assessments" are done in April, there will STILL be Pearson field tests given in some schools this June.

Next year, there will also be "local assessments' added to the testing battery, along with the state exams, so that teachers can be evaluated with both the state tests (20%) and the "local assessments" (20%).

If you've got children in high school, they may also be taking the PSAT and the SAT.

The Era of Endless Assessments is here.

And who does this benefit?

Certainly Pearson.

Certainly News Corporation and other companies looking to sell test prep materials, technology and other things to the state and/or districts.

Certainly Common Core co-architect David Coleman and the other education corporatists who are pushing both the Common Core Federal Standards and the new tests and making money off this.

But the children who are trying to race through the unpiloted Pearson/NYSED tests, made even longer by the field test section added, certainly aren't.

The children who are losing more and more days to testing and test prep certainly aren't.

And yet, the education corporatists in charge of policy in this state tell us that all this testing is "for the children."

Sure it is.

Ignore all the money the education corporatists and the corporations they shill for are making off this high stakes standardized test reform and then maybe you can believe it is so.


  1. Michelle Rhee is a criminal! Investigate her exam fraud. Did she not organize and condone the exam fraud in D.C.?

  2. The testing cult is racist and organized by profiteers! Just like the slave traders of the 17th and 18th centuries, these profiteers seek to profit from the labor of slave.... testing slaves!

    1. It certainly does seem like a modern day analogue - esp. at test slave factories like KIPP and Success.