Physical Education Takes a Hit: Schools' Emphasis on Testing Is Making Kids Sick 5/6/15
“...Fewer than 50 percent of US youth currently get the recommended amount of moderate to vigorous exercise they need to become healthy adults...”
First Grade Teacher: How Common Core Tests Affect My Students 4/23/15

Carol Burris Discusses Some of the Worst Questions on the Pearson Common Core Tests 4/21/15
Educators alarmed by some questions on N.Y. Common Core tests 4/19/15    
Are You Complicit in “Soul Murder”?via Dr. Ravitch Joyce Murdock Feilke, a child psychologist warns of the harm our society is doing to children by subjecting them to 10-12 hours of high-stakes testing. This stress does nothing positive for them. By the time the scores are returned, the children have a new teacher. The teacher is not allowed to see what they got wrong. The tests have no diagnostic value. The only beneficiaries are the testing corporations...
The reformers have created a machine that is turning our children into emotionally desensitized functional robots via spiritual annihilation, and good teachers with moral courage are refusing to participate in "soul murder"... A must read - cont.
”According to an education assessment from Renaissance Learning, U.S. students are increasingly getting behind at the high school level due to inferior standards implemented through federal initiatives such as Common Core and are increasingly unprepared to make the best use of their time in college. “1/8/15  Personal Liberty 
Tuesday, April 7, 2015
Atlanta Cheating Scandals and Eva Moskowitz Success Academies 2 Sides of the same Coin Mark Naison 4/7/15Which Is Worse: Cheating or Child Abuse?
Mother told to ‘cease and desist’ from posting PARCC opposition signs 3/2/15 Elizabeth, NJ

Breaking: Rochester Teachers Oppose High-Stakes Testing, Support Opt Out 3/18/15
Connecticut: Victory! Parents Have Right to Opt Out! by dianeravitch 3/17/15
“Hooray! Jonathan Pelto reports that parents in Connecticut have the right to opt their child out of Common Core testing!
"Eight (8) hours of testing! This is nuts!    Opt out!
Teachers: Time for Civil Disobedience
by dianeravitch 3/15/15 “Never have the stakes attached to testing been higher. If a student doesn't reach proficient on a Common Core test where most students will not reach proficient (a passing mark set artificially high), the student is a failure, her teacher is ineffective, and the school is stigmatized. How to counter this madness?...
Two years ago, a teen in NJ committed suicide after learning that he failed to get a passing grade on the standardized test that would allow him to graduate. He tweeted his despair over the test. I wonder if his Twitter account was monitored by the NJ DOE."
RI Teacher Suspended for Discussing Opt Out, Students Demand his Returnby dianeravitch 3/15/15

Can the "Opt Out" Movement Succeed?3/13/15
Protests Held Across NYC Against Gov. Cuomo’s Education Reform Plan 3/12/15
A Call for a Nationwide Bubble Protest2/28/15
Anti-Common Core activists keep up push to get parents to 'opt out' 3/7/15Suffolk LONG ISLAND
Principal: ‘There comes a time when rules must be broken…. That time is now.’2/19/15
Negative Effects of High Stakes Testing by Carol Burris
“include less creative and engaging schooling; the deprofessionalization of teachers and teaching; the reduction of teaching of the arts, music, social studies, and science; and the marginalizing of student skill development in areas such as problem solving, cooperation, and reasoning.
NJ 41% in some schools refuse PARCC testing 3/4/14
New York Times Fails Education Reform – Again Dr. Katz. Rutgers 2/22/15 Disagrees with the Times on testing.
Duncan Threatens to Punish Chicago If They Don’t Give PARCC1/31/15
Democrats Should Listen To What Senator Whitehouse Said About Education Policy1/25/15

“Education Secretary Says Administration Is Committed to Testing” 1/12/15 NYTimes
Test mania? Local superintendents call increased testing of students under Common Core an "abomination."Some  Ohio Superintendents 10/20/14
Researchers: Sign This Petition to Congress Opposing High-Stakes Testing 2/16/15 “Researchers organized by Kevin Kumashiro, Dean of the University of San Francisco School of Education, have created a petition to oppose high-stakes testing. It is addressed to Congress.
Read about it here in Valerie Strauss's "Answer Sheet" and, if you agree, add your name.”

As Gutenberg stated on Diane Ravitch’s blog 
The high-stakes test is the de-facto curriculum.
Steve Isreal: 9/17/14“I am introducing the Tackling Excessive Standardized Testing (TEST) Act that allows states to choose an alternative testing schedule for students in grades 3 through 8. The TEST Act reduces the number of tests students must take each year and ultimately gives time back to educators to teach science, social studies, art, music and other subjects whose lessons are being cut short in order to prepare for testing....”

Fairtest: Growing Momentum to Roll Back Testing Madness by dianeravitch 9/17/14
“Here is the weekly Fairtest report on new developments in the public's efforts to roll back the testing frenzy that has been imposed on our nation's children by Congress, the Bush administration, and the Obama administration:...”
Anti-testing movement growing, finding success around country 9/12/14
Florida Kindergarten Teacher: I Will Not Give the Test
9/10/14 Bravo!!!! What sacrifice! What courage!
Follow up:
Florida suspends a controversial exam as debate widens over school testing 9/22/14 “...Education Commissioner Pam Stewart ended the Florida Assessments for Instruction in Reading, known as the FAIR test, in kindergarten through second grade. In its place, teachers will observe children's reading abilities in a more informal setting than the online exam, which recently experienced glitches.
Stewart announced the change in a memo to superintendents.
"It's amazing," said Susan Bowles, the Alachua County kindergarten teacher whose widely publicized refusal to administer FAIR this fall sparked the state's move. "I am very grateful that they have seen that the test was not a good thing for children..."  
Yeah!!!!!!!!  If everyone lit just one little candle what a bright world this would be!
What Happened to the Scholar Who Challenged Pearson by dianeravitch 9/5/14
“Jason Stanford has written a jaw-dropping article about what happened to the professor who debunked standardized testing. It's not pretty.
Walter Stroup, a professor at the University of Texas College of Education, made a remarkable discovery about standardized tests: "what the tests measured was not what students have learned but how well students take tests."...
"Stroup testified that for $468 million the Legislature had bought a pile of stress and wasted time from Pearson Education, the biggest player in the standardized-testing industry."
After 15 years of high-stakes testing, the state was still waiting for the promised results. What they got instead was a huge number of students who could not graduate high school and a parent uprising against testing.
What happened to Stroup was alarming. Pearson tried to discredit his research. Pearson has some high-powered lobbyists on its payroll in Texas....
But even more alarming, the Pearson Foundationade was already a major benefactor of Stroup's employer, the University of Texas College of Education...
Six months after Stroup testified before the Legislature, he learned that his tenure was in jeopardy.
The story is not over. It is about politics and power. It is not about what's best for children or how to improve education.”
Louisiana: Judge Orders Superintendent to Release Cut Score Information 9/4/14

Crazy Crawfish and Mike Deshotels: Test Score Manipulation in Louisiana Hides Declines 8/17/14
Must Read: ...Let me spell this out for you. If you want to show progress in your state you can artificially inflate the scores to show improvement. If you need to make a case for more charter schools and school closures simply lower the scores and take them over and then raise the score back to show that reform worked. That is exactly what Louisiana has done and no doubt other reform markets as well. The actual data shows the Reforms, including Common Core, have had the exact opposite effect, and a very dramatic one...”

Pennsylvania: When Tests Are Pointless9/2/14

Massachusetts: An Interview with Barbara Madeloni about the Failure of Testing 9/2/14  “... reclaim the vision of public education as a space for democracy, for joy, for hope, for a better future for all of our children. All of our children.”
“Zak Jason wrote a fascinating interview in "Boston" magazine with Barbara Madeloni, the recently elected president of the Massachusetts Teachers Association, the largest union in the state with 110,000 members.
I first learned of Madeloni when she was preparing teachers at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and she refused to give the Pearson test to evaluate new teachers. Michael Winerip wrote a story about her defiance in the New York Times, and within a matter of days, her contract was not renewed. Now all teacher candidates across the university are required to take the Pearson exam...”

Fairtest: The Fight Against High-Stakes Testing Grows Stronger Dr. Ravitch 10/18/14 lists states resisting high -stakes testing
FairTest: Resistance to Over-Testing Grows  Nationwide 9/3/14

FAIRTEST: The Resistance to Test Mania Grows  Stronger8/28/14

Susan Ochshorn: Play Is Necessary for Children’s Healthy Mental Development 8/31/14 “... In short, children need to play, and our test-obsessed education system is reducing the available for play. This is not good for children or for the mental health of our troubled society.”

Breaking News! Lee County, Florida, Opts Entire District Out of State Testing! 8/27/14
Valerie Strauss: Lee County, Florida, Decision to Opt Out Is an Act of Civil Disobedience 8/28/14

As Elliott Eisner once said, 
“You don’t fatten cattle by weighing 
them on a scale.”
	Utah: AIR’s Absurdly Long Common Core Tests 7/5/14
“...Why should Common Core tests require 8-10 hours? Does anyone know? Why should third graders, 8 or 9 year-old children, be expected to sit for eight hours of testing? This is nuts! ... This from a teacher in Utah, responding to a post called "Good Riddance to Common Core Tests." Let the parents know. They recognize child abuse...”

Utah: Common Core Tests Cause Proficiency Rates to Fall Below 50% by dianeravitch 8/19/14
“The first results of Utah's Common Core tests are in, and they follow the pattern of other states: a sharp drop in the proportion of students who are "proficient...... May I remind you that we are one of the most powerful and most creative and most productive nations in the world. We didn't get that way with a stupid population...
The Common Core tests are developmentally inappropriate. The achievement levels are out of reach of most students.
Florida Law Requires Multiple Tests for  Kindergartners by dianeravitch 81814

Florida has gone bonkers. State law requires children in kindergarten to take tests for every subject taught in kindergarten. Some counties will develop as many as 15 different tests, ranging from physical education to art. Most children will be required to take seven tests.

Andy Hargreaves: What Is the Purpose of Educational Benchmarking? 8/25/14

New Group Asks Congress to Protect Student Privacy 7/23/14
ConnectEDU Goes Bankrupt, 20 Million Student Data Files at Risk 5/30/14

Good Riddance to the Common Core Tests!
“...A few years ago, Arne Duncan, Bill Gates, David Coleman, and a merry band of policy wonks had a grand plan. The non-governmental groups like Achieve, the National Governors Association, the Council of Chief State School Officers, and Coleman’s own Student Achievement Partners would write the Common Core standards (paid for by the Gates Foundation); Duncan would require states to agree to adopt them as a condition of eligibility for a share of the billions of Race to the Top funds at a time when states were broke; the Feds would spend $370 million to develop tests for the standards; and within a few short years the U.S. would have a seamless system of standards and assessments that could be used to evaluate students, teachers, and schools.
The reason that the Gates Foundation had to pay for the standards is that federal law prohibits the government from controlling, directing, or supervising curriculum or instruction....”
Prime: Testing creates frustration, confusion for students; strips teachers of professional judgment/Iowa 12/5/13
...Animal Alley rescued Cloud and Clip. One night, a helper saw two baby animals. They were hungry. They were dirty. The helper fed them. She cleaned the animals. After a few weeks, the babies changed. They changed from skinny to chubby. A loving family adopted them.
What happened to Cloud and Clip?
A. A loving family adopted them.
B. Alley Animals rescued them.
C. They changed from skinny to chubby.
D. They were dirty and a helper cleaned them.
What do you think is the right answer? Read Amy's post to find out.
All were right but the key says A
“When is the next school board meeting? I think it is time to be a very vocal parent. FairTest: Update on Resistance to High-Stakes  Testing by dianeravitch 5/29/14
Gerri K. Songer Compares ACT and PARCC and Finds They Both Are Rotten by dianeravitch
“Gerri Songer compares ACT and PARCC and finds them both wanting , both developmentally inappropriate...”
“Human intelligence is so multifaceted, so complex, so varied, that no standardized testing system can be expected to capture it,” says William Hiss. Hiss is the former dean of admissions at Bates College in Lewiston, Maine — one of the nation’s first test-optional schools. “My hope is that this study will be a first step in examining what happens when you admit tens of thousands of students without looking at their SAT scores,” Hiss says. “And the answer is, if they have good high school grades, they’re almost certainly going to be fine....”
"I urge educators to call for an indefinite moratorium on the implementation of Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) to assess Common Core State Standards (CCSS). I also advocate eliminating standardized testing all together, and replacing it with the use of GPA and class placement as an indicator of college and career success."
RAVITCH: Anti-testing Momentum Grows --links to stories of ...5/14/14

Testing Talk 

Peg Robertson: Be Reasonable? First, Do No Harm! 9/1/14 “Peg Robertson, a mother and teacher, responds to those who tell the Lee County Board of Education to be reasonable and to rescind their historic vote to opt out of testing. Peg wants them to stand strong and defend the children. She is one of the founders of United Opt Out....

Carol Burris: The Danger Done by “Fools with Tools” 4/30/14
“... Knowing these shenanigans gives more reason to opt your children out of the state testing. The game is rigged against them.”

Shhhh! New York’s Most Closely Guarded Secret by dianeravitch 4/11/14 “...Over the course of the past year, parents have come to realize that these tests serve no purpose other than to grade teachers and feed the data monster....”

Pearson’s Connection to the Ad Placement on NYS ELA 4/21/14


NYC Public School Parents: Who are they kidding? The excuses ofNY State Ed. Dept. & Pearson for the prominent trademarks in the ELA exam fall flat

GOP Candidate For New York Governor Has Kids Opt Out Of Common Core Testing

Breaking News: Colorado Teachers Force Union to Join Fight Against High-Stakes Testing!http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/30582-physical-education-takes-a-hit-testing-mania-is-making-us-kids-sick#http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/30582-physical-education-takes-a-hit-testing-mania-is-making-us-kids-sick#http://dianeravitch.net/2015/04/23/first-grade-teacher-how-common-core-tests-affect-my-students/http://dianeravitch.net/2015/04/23/first-grade-teacher-how-common-core-tests-affect-my-students/http://dianeravitch.net/2015/04/21/carol-burris-discusses-some-of-the-worst-questions-on-the-pearson-common-core-tests/http://dianeravitch.net/2015/04/21/carol-burris-discusses-some-of-the-worst-questions-on-the-pearson-common-core-tests/http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2015/04/19/educators-alarmed-by-some-questions-on-n-y-common-core-tests/http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2015/04/19/educators-alarmed-by-some-questions-on-n-y-common-core-tests/http://dianeravitch.net/2015/03/16/are-you-complicit-in-soul-murder/http://dianeravitch.net/2015/03/16/are-you-complicit-in-soul-murder/http://personalliberty.com/education-experts-average-college-freshman-reads-7th-grade-level/http://withabrooklynaccent.blogspot.com/2015/04/atlanta-cheating-scandals-and-eva.html?m=1http://withabrooklynaccent.blogspot.com/2015/04/atlanta-cheating-scandals-and-eva.html?m=1http://pix11.com/2015/03/02/mother-told-to-cease-and-desist-from-posting-parcc-opposition-signs/http://pix11.com/2015/03/02/mother-told-to-cease-and-desist-from-posting-parcc-opposition-signs/http://dianeravitch.net/2015/03/18/breaking-rochester-teachers-oppose-high-stakes-testing-support-opt-out/http://dianeravitch.net/2015/03/18/breaking-rochester-teachers-oppose-high-stakes-testing-support-opt-out/http://dianeravitch.net/2015/03/17/connecticut-victory-parents-have-right-to-opt-out/http://dianeravitch.net/author/dianerav/http://jonathanpelto.us4.list-manage.com/track/click?u=7f1c4dcd87c0b31177f7cb0cf&id=b07bb6f080&e=6229965816http://dianeravitch.net/2015/03/15/teachers-time-for-civil-disobedience/http://dianeravitch.net/author/dianerav/http://dianeravitch.net/2015/03/15/ri-teacher-suspended-for-discussing-ot-out-students-demand-his-return/http://dianeravitch.net/2015/03/15/ri-teacher-suspended-for-discussing-ot-out-students-demand-his-return/http://dianeravitch.net/author/dianerav/http://ed2worlds.blogspot.com/2015/03/can-opt-out-movement-succeed.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+EducationInTwoWorlds+%28Education+in+Two+Worlds%29http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2015/03/12/protests-held-across-nyc-against-gov-cuomos-education-reform-plan/http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2015/03/12/protests-held-across-nyc-against-gov-cuomos-education-reform-plan/http://dianeravitch.net/2015/02/28/a-call-for-a-nationwide-bubble-protest/http://www.newsday.com/long-island/suffolk/anti-common-core-activists-keep-up-push-to-get-parents-to-opt-out-1.10030761http://www.newsday.com/long-island/suffolk/anti-common-core-activists-keep-up-push-to-get-parents-to-opt-out-1.10030761http://www.newsday.com/long-island/suffolkhttp://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2015/02/19/principal-there-comes-a-time-when-rules-must-broken-that-time-is-now/http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2015/02/19/principal-there-comes-a-time-when-rules-must-broken-that-time-is-now/http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2015/02/19/principal-there-comes-a-time-when-rules-must-broken-that-time-is-now/http://www.njherald.com/story/28265967/2015/03/04/41-in-some-schools-refuse-parcc-testinghttp://danielskatz.net/2015/02/22/new-york-times-fails-education-reform-again/http://dianeravitch.net/2015/01/31/duncan-threatens-to-punish-chicago-if-they-dont-give-parcc/http://dianeravitch.net/2015/01/31/duncan-threatens-to-punish-chicago-if-they-dont-give-parcc/http://educationopportunitynetwork.org/democrats-should-listen-to-what-senator-whitehouse-said-about-education-policy/http://educationopportunitynetwork.org/democrats-should-listen-to-what-senator-whitehouse-said-about-education-policy/http://excelined.org/news/education-secretary-says-administration-committed-testing/http://excelined.org/news/education-secretary-says-administration-committed-testing/http://www.cleveland.com/metro/index.ssf/2014/10/test_mania_local_superintenden.htmlhttp://www.cleveland.com/metro/index.ssf/2014/10/test_mania_local_superintenden.htmlhttp://www.cleveland.com/metro/index.ssf/2014/10/test_mania_local_superintenden.htmlhttp://dianeravitch.net/2015/02/16/researchers-sign-this-petition-to-congress-opposing-high-stakes-testing/http://dianeravitch.net/2015/02/16/researchers-sign-this-petition-to-congress-opposing-high-stakes-testing/http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2015/02/14/more-than-500-researchers-sign-nclb-letter-to-congress-stop-test-focused-reforms/http://dianeravitch.net/2014/09/17/fairtest-growing-momentum-to-roll-back-testing-madness/http://dianeravitch.net/2014/09/17/fairtest-growing-momentum-to-roll-back-testing-madness/http://dianeravitch.net/author/dianerav/http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2014/09/08/anti-testing-movement-growing-finding-success-around-country/http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2014/09/08/anti-testing-movement-growing-finding-success-around-country/http://dianeravitch.net/2014/09/10/florida-kindergarten-teacher-i-will-not-give-the-test/http://www.tampabay.com/news/education/testing/florida-suspends-a-controversial-exam-as-debate-widens-over-school-testing/2197837http://www.tampabay.com/news/education/testing/florida-suspends-a-controversial-exam-as-debate-widens-over-school-testing/2197837http://dianeravitch.net/2014/09/05/what-happened-to-the-scholar-who-challenged-pearson/http://dianeravitch.net/author/dianerav/http://www.texasobserver.org/walter-stroup-standardized-testing-pearson/http://dianeravitch.net/2014/09/04/louisiana-judge-orders-superintendent-to-release-cut-score-information/http://dianeravitch.net/2014/09/04/louisiana-judge-orders-superintendent-to-release-cut-score-information/http://dianeravitch.net/2014/08/30/crazy-crawfish-and-mike-deshotels-test-score-manipulation-in-louisiana-hides-declines/http://dianeravitch.net/2014/08/30/crazy-crawfish-and-mike-deshotels-test-score-manipulation-in-louisiana-hides-declines/http://dianeravitch.net/2014/09/02/pennsylvania-when-tests-are-pointless/http://dianeravitch.net/2014/09/02/massachusetts-an-interview-with-barbara-madeloni-about-the-failure-of-testin/http://dianeravitch.net/2014/09/02/massachusetts-an-interview-with-barbara-madeloni-about-the-failure-of-testin/http://www.bostonmagazine.com/news/article/2014/08/26/barbara-madeloni-massachusetts-teachers-association-president/http://www.bostonmagazine.com/news/article/2014/08/26/barbara-madeloni-massachusetts-teachers-association-president/http://dianeravitch.net/2014/10/18/fairtest-the-fight-against-high-stakes-testing-grows-stronger/http://dianeravitch.net/2014/10/18/fairtest-the-fight-against-high-stakes-testing-grows-stronger/http://dianeravitch.net/2014/09/03/fairtest-resistance-to-over-testing-grows-nationwide/http://dianeravitch.net/2014/08/28/fairtest-the-reistance-to-test-mania-is-winning/http://dianeravitch.net/2014/08/28/fairtest-the-reistance-to-test-mania-is-winning/http://dianeravitch.net/2014/08/31/susan-ochshorn-play-is-necessary-for-childrens-healthy-mental-development/http://dianeravitch.net/2014/08/31/susan-ochshorn-play-is-necessary-for-childrens-healthy-mental-development/http://dianeravitch.net/2014/08/27/breaking-news-lee-county-florida-opts-entire-district-out-of-state-testing/http://dianeravitch.net/2014/08/27/breaking-news-lee-county-florida-opts-entire-district-out-of-state-testing/http://dianeravitch.net/2014/08/28/valerie-strauss-lee-county-florida-decision-to-opt-out-is-an-act-of-civil-disobedience/http://dianeravitch.net/2014/08/28/valerie-strauss-lee-county-florida-decision-to-opt-out-is-an-act-of-civil-disobedience/http://dianeravitch.net/2014/07/05/utah-airs-absurdly-long-common-core-tests/http://dianeravitch.net/2014/07/03/politico-plans-for-the-federal-tests-for-common-core-are-falling-apart/http://dianeravitch.net/2014/07/03/politico-plans-for-the-federal-tests-for-common-core-are-falling-apart/http://dianeravitch.net/2014/08/19/utah-common-core-tests-cause-proficiency-rates-to-fall-below-50/http://dianeravitch.net/2014/08/19/utah-common-core-tests-cause-proficiency-rates-to-fall-below-50/http://dianeravitch.net/author/dianerav/http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/news/58310430-78/results-standards-students-percent.html.csphttp://dianeravitch.net/2014/08/19/florida-law-requires-multiple-tests-for-kindergartners/http://dianeravitch.net/author/dianerav/http://www.wftv.com/news/news/local/9-investigates-state-plan-means-testing-kindergart/ng473/?__federated=1http://dianeravitch.net/2014/08/25/andy-hargreaves-what-is-the-purpose-of-educational-benchmarking/http://dianeravitch.net/2014/08/25/andy-hargreaves-what-is-the-purpose-of-educational-benchmarking/http://dianeravitch.net/2014/07/23/new-group-asks-congress-to-protect-student-privacy/http://dianeravitch.net/2014/05/30/connectedu-goes-bankrupt-20-million-student-data-files-at-risk/http://dianeravitch.net/2014/07/03/politico-plans-for-the-federal-tests-for-common-core-are-falling-apart/http://abetteriowa.desmoinesregister.com/2013/12/05/prime-testing-creates-frustration-confusion-for-students-strips-teachers-of-professional-judgment/http://abetteriowa.desmoinesregister.com/2013/12/05/prime-testing-creates-frustration-confusion-for-students-strips-teachers-of-professional-judgment/http://dianeravitch.net/2014/05/29/fairtest-update-on-resistance-to-high-stakes-testing/http://dianeravitch.net/2014/05/29/fairtest-update-on-resistance-to-high-stakes-testing/http://dianeravitch.net/author/dianerav/http://dianeravitch.net/2014/05/16/gerri-songer-compares-act-and-parcc/http://dianeravitch.net/2014/05/16/gerri-songer-compares-act-and-parcc/http://dianeravitch.net/author/dianerav/http://gerriksonger.wordpress.com/2014/04/14/act-vs-parcc-a-side-by-side-comparison/?preview=true&preview_id=496&preview_nonce=afb4d7ebf8&post_format=standardhttp://www.democraticunderground.com/101693045http://www.democraticunderground.com/101693045http://testingtalk.orghttp://dianeravitch.net/2014/09/01/peg-robertson-be-reasonable-first-do-no-harm/http://www.pegwithpen.com/2014/08/do-no-harm-that-is-reasonable.htmlhttp://dianeravitch.net/2014/04/30/carol-burris-the-danger-done-by-fools-with-tools/http://dianeravitch.net/2014/04/10/shhhh-new-yorks-most-closely-guarded-secret/http://dianeravitch.net/author/dianerav/http://lacetothetop.wordpress.com/2014/04/21/pearsons-connection-to-the-ad-placement-on-nys-ela/http://nycpublicschoolparents.blogspot.com/2014/04/who-are-they-kidding-excuses-of-ny.htmlhttp://nycpublicschoolparents.blogspot.com/2014/04/who-are-they-kidding-excuses-of-ny.htmlhttp://nycpublicschoolparents.blogspot.com/2014/04/who-are-they-kidding-excuses-of-ny.htmlhttp://lonelyconservative.com/2014/04/gop-candidate-for-new-york-governor-has-kids-opt-out-of-common-core-testing/http://lonelyconservative.com/2014/04/gop-candidate-for-new-york-governor-has-kids-opt-out-of-common-core-testing/http://dianeravitch.net/2014/04/25/breaking-news-colorado-teachers-force-union-to-join-fight-against-high-stakes-testing/http://dianeravitch.net/2014/04/25/breaking-news-colorado-teachers-force-union-to-join-fight-against-high-stakes-testing/shapeimage_1_link_0shapeimage_1_link_1shapeimage_1_link_2shapeimage_1_link_3shapeimage_1_link_4shapeimage_1_link_5shapeimage_1_link_6shapeimage_1_link_7shapeimage_1_link_8shapeimage_1_link_9shapeimage_1_link_10shapeimage_1_link_11shapeimage_1_link_12shapeimage_1_link_13shapeimage_1_link_14shapeimage_1_link_15shapeimage_1_link_16shapeimage_1_link_17shapeimage_1_link_18shapeimage_1_link_19shapeimage_1_link_20shapeimage_1_link_21shapeimage_1_link_22shapeimage_1_link_23shapeimage_1_link_24shapeimage_1_link_25shapeimage_1_link_26shapeimage_1_link_27shapeimage_1_link_28shapeimage_1_link_29shapeimage_1_link_30shapeimage_1_link_31shapeimage_1_link_32shapeimage_1_link_33shapeimage_1_link_34shapeimage_1_link_35shapeimage_1_link_36shapeimage_1_link_37shapeimage_1_link_38shapeimage_1_link_39shapeimage_1_link_40shapeimage_1_link_41shapeimage_1_link_42shapeimage_1_link_43shapeimage_1_link_44shapeimage_1_link_45shapeimage_1_link_46shapeimage_1_link_47shapeimage_1_link_48shapeimage_1_link_49shapeimage_1_link_50shapeimage_1_link_51shapeimage_1_link_52shapeimage_1_link_53shapeimage_1_link_54shapeimage_1_link_55shapeimage_1_link_56shapeimage_1_link_57shapeimage_1_link_58shapeimage_1_link_59shapeimage_1_link_60shapeimage_1_link_61shapeimage_1_link_62shapeimage_1_link_63shapeimage_1_link_64shapeimage_1_link_65shapeimage_1_link_66shapeimage_1_link_67shapeimage_1_link_68shapeimage_1_link_69shapeimage_1_link_70shapeimage_1_link_71shapeimage_1_link_72shapeimage_1_link_73shapeimage_1_link_74shapeimage_1_link_75shapeimage_1_link_76shapeimage_1_link_77shapeimage_1_link_78shapeimage_1_link_79shapeimage_1_link_80shapeimage_1_link_81shapeimage_1_link_82shapeimage_1_link_83shapeimage_1_link_84shapeimage_1_link_85shapeimage_1_link_86shapeimage_1_link_87shapeimage_1_link_88shapeimage_1_link_89shapeimage_1_link_90shapeimage_1_link_91shapeimage_1_link_92shapeimage_1_link_93shapeimage_1_link_94shapeimage_1_link_95shapeimage_1_link_96shapeimage_1_link_97shapeimage_1_link_98shapeimage_1_link_99shapeimage_1_link_100shapeimage_1_link_101shapeimage_1_link_102shapeimage_1_link_103shapeimage_1_link_104shapeimage_1_link_105shapeimage_1_link_106shapeimage_1_link_107shapeimage_1_link_108shapeimage_1_link_109shapeimage_1_link_110shapeimage_1_link_111shapeimage_1_link_112shapeimage_1_link_113shapeimage_1_link_114shapeimage_1_link_115shapeimage_1_link_116shapeimage_1_link_117shapeimage_1_link_118shapeimage_1_link_119

Psychologically Wrong-Testing: Harm of High Stakes & Its Destructiveness /VAM / Opting Out/Finland’s Schools                                                                        

Peter Greene: More Craigs’ List Advertising for Test Scorers at $11.20 an Hour via Dr. Ravitch

Harvard Political Review: The Case Against Annual Standardized Testing 6/26/15by dianeravitch
“Quinn Mulholland of the Harvard Political Review ...concluded that the exams are overkill. They cost too much, they narrow the curriculum, they take too many hours, they distort the purpose of education.
Why Alfred North Whitehead Opposed Standardize A Brief History of the "Testocracy," Standardized Testing and Test-Defying  Tests  10/5/14
More than a dozen states report trouble with computerized  Common Core tests 4/25/15
Fairtest: Weekly Roundup of Testing Resistance and  Reform 5/28/15 19 states reporting
Testing
Ohio Dumps PARCC Test as Waste of Time and Money7/5/14
Magical test results in Tennessee   by Mama Bears 5/22/15
In a shift, New York state tests now more difficult to pass than national exams5/14/15

NYSUT Testing 4/2/15 NYSUT fully supports opting out
“...shrouded in secrecy and fear, in addition to be developmentally inappropriate and profit-driven rather than student-driven....” Kathryn D. Brown says:
March 30, 2015
 NYSESLAT Review Part 2--Awaiting the Rigging of the Scores;5/15/15 
 Arthur Goldstein: How NOT To Test English Language Learners 
Read it and weep for the students and their teachers.
How the Obamas opted their children out of high-stakes standardized tests 4/8/15

Yale grad takes 8th grade Common Core language test, scores an 88 percent 4/6/15
Some Huge Flaws in Common Core Testing 3/31/15 Dr. Ravitch
Bob Braun: The Brave Néw World of Testing and Spying by dianeravitch 3/15/15 “...New Jersey is paying Pearson $108 million to run...” 
its PARCC testing program    !!!!!!!!!!!!!
Frank Breslin: Police States Spy on Children
by dianeravitch 3/15/15
“Reacting to the news that testing corporations are "monitoring" the social media accounts of children during and after testing, and forbidding even verbal discussions of the tests, retired educator Frank Breslin is outraged. He wrote to me:
"Pearson is encouraging educators to spy on their students' privacy, thereby trying to undermine the integrity of the relationship that students have with their teachers. This is vitiating the entire tradition of student/teacher trust that has been a sacred tradition between them for thousands of years. They're making educators complicit in this illegal and immoral spying on children, so that teachers are becoming adjuncts of a Police State.
"This is what the Nazis did to teachers during the Reich -- having teachers spying on parents by having children report back to them what parents were saying against the Reich. This is diabolical! "
I know that some readers object to any analogy that references Nazis, but Breslin might just as well have referred to the Stasi in East Germany or any other police state in which teachers are expected to inform the Authorities about the private communications of their students, and family members are expected to inform on each other.

Florida Principal: High-Stakes Testing Is Killing Our Schools 2/16/15

Why Most Students Will “Fail” PARCC Test 2/12/15 “Brandenburg says of Walsh's findings:
"Many analysts say that mass failure is precisely the goal of the people who designed the Common Core tests: if they define “mastery” as reading and doing math two grades above current grade level, then by definition all but a tiny fraction of students will fail, and these “experts” can proclaim that public education is a failure and must be abolished.
"It’s an evil plan worthy of an evil genius."
Susan Ochshorn: How Race to the Top Harms Little  Children 2/11/15 Susan Ochshorn, founder of ECE Policy Works, surveys the harmful impact of Race to the Top on early childhood education.
"...narrowing curriculum, inspiring fear, trembling, and depression in the U.S. teaching corps, not to mention test anxiety among a growing -- and ever younger -- population of students.
More Than Half of U.S. Students Will Not Take Federally-Funded Common Core Tests 2/5/15
New Jersey: Do You Want to Testify Against CC or Testing? Deadline Tomorrow!1/24/15
A Parent Leader Writes to Senator Alexander About Testing “Jeff Nichols is a leader of the Opt Out movement in New York City....”
Teacher: Common Core tests set kids up to fail 1/22/15 “Jennifer Rickert is an elementary school teacher in upstate Néw York. She loves teaching. She has taught for 22 years. She tried her best to implement the Common Core.”
Marie Corfield: A Bombshell in Néw Jersey1/9/15 
"We know we can't force any kid to put their hands on a keyboard."
Who Benefits from Standardized Testing? Not  Students. 1/24/15 This comment was posted on Dianne Ravitch’s blog by a reader about the debate over testing:
...
“...They know it’s a colossal waste of their own kids’ valuable learning time and it does nothing to help them or their teachers...”
The Anti-Testing Movement is Bipartisan and Continues to Grow Stronger 11/7/14
The rise of the anti-standardized testing movement 10/30/14
Colorado: Student Scores Collapse on “Harder” Tests in Science, Social Studies 10/27/14
Fairtest: They Can’t Ignore the Uprising Against High-Stakes Testing! 10/21/14 13 states reporting
Myra Blackmon: Testing Insanity in Georgia10/15/14
Testing: Education Leaders Really Don’t Get It 10/16/14
FairTest: Weekly Report on Anti-Testmania 10/1/14 Diane Ravitch cited a long list of reports from many states 
“According to this study, dropout rates are likely to double under Common Core's "rigorous" demands.” Diane Ravitch 9/27/14 
A disturbing look at common Core tests in New York 6/27/14
A LIst of countless articles states and educators around the country resisting the high stakes testing/Fair Test/Nat’l Center for Fair and Open Testing as of 9/23/14
FairTest Reports the Stunning Advances of Movement to Curb Testmania9/24/14 Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida , Kansas, Mass., New Mexico, NY, Oklahoma, Rhode Island- speak out against High Stakes testing.

Fairtest: Growing Momentum to Roll Back Testing 
Madness 9/1714 Lists all the states and districts that have taken action against the controversial testing
Florida: Broward County May Give as Many as 1,500 New Tests
Palm Beach County Goes Test-Berserk, Planning 400 New Tests 9/17/14
Excessive testing hurts Iowa children 9/16/14
Florida: the Test-Crazy State by dianeravitch
Can you believe this?
"Out of the 180-day academic year, Miami-Dade County schools will administer standardized tests on every day but eight."
 Why Standardized Testing Harm Students and How to Stop This Harm 9/26/13

Why standardized testing is ruining our schools, hurting our kids

Jason Stanford: Testing is a lousy way to hold schools accountable -8/11/14

FAIRTEST: Flat ACT Scores Show Failure of NCLB, Race to the Top by dianeravitch 8/19/14
“Give it up, reformers. The scores on the ACT are flat from 2010-2014, despite the billions wasted on testing, test-based teacher evaluation, and merit pay. Your reforms have reformed nothing. They have failed. Pay attention...”
Jeannie Kaplan: Reform Has Failed in Denver 8/15/14
“..."The headline from this year’s TCAP results ought to be STOP! 

NY Parent-Educator Group Outraged by Quality and Accuracy of Common Core Test Scores8/14/14...”With 64-68% of students "failing," these results are likely to fuel the New York parent revolt against high-stakes testing. What a terrible burden to place on young children.”Dr. Ravitch
Testing Has Become ToxicAndy Goldstein Parent/Teacher Florida 7/24/14
What’s Wrong with Standardized Tests
The Myths of Standardized Tests: Why They Don't Tell You What You Think They Do 2011 ERIC
 
 High-Stakes Testing and the Corruption of America's Schools March/April 2007 Harvard Ed. Letter
“...Campbell’s law stipulates that “the more any quantitative social indicator is used for social decision-making, the more subject it will be to corruption pressures and the more apt it will be to distort and corrupt the social processes it is intended to monitor.”...
The Wall Street Journal: Test Scores Are No Sure Guide to What Students Know
Holding Kids Back Doesn't Help Them 4/21/14
I maintain that there is an alternative to retention and social promotion. Give At Risk students additional help from day one. Use the Reading Recovery program in lieu of the phonetically based program. Along with the Reading Recovery program use the Collaborative, Arkansas Literacy Intervention program or any program anchored in relating all new knowledge to the student and their background; assisting them in becoming active learners in lieu of over burdening their memory.

The Reading Professor says:3/26/14 - a coment on Diane Rativch’s blog
“Spot on! I’ve seen the Beta version of the PARCC tests for third graders. As a former field-test manager for a criterion-referenced reading program, I can tell you these items are written at a third-grader’s frustration level. Conceptually, they are wildly inappropriate. To make matters worse, they must be taken on a computer and the children are expected to type their responses. What third grader has touch typing skills? In short, if you wanted to place the maximum number of barriers in front of these third graders, these are the instruments you’d want to select. JUNK!!!”
Superintendent Mark Henry Slams High-Stakes Testing 6/14/14 “...Mark Henry, superintendent of the Cypress-Fairbanks district in Texas, stood up and spoke out for common sense and education ethics. In this article, he explains why his district--the third largest in Texas--will not participate in a pilot test to evaluate teachers by student test scores....”Learning is not a business; it's a process...”
US Common Core Testing map  Pinterest /images
US Common Core Testing Map/pinterest/images
Talking About This Year’s Common core Tests

"... when injustice becomes law, rebellion becomes duty.”

Jeanne Rotunda on the Emotional Lives of Children 4/2/14
Bill Aims To Curb High-Stakes Testing Mandates 3/11/14
"The over-emphasis on standardized testing has caused considerable collateral damage in too many schools including narrowing the curriculum, teaching to the test, reducing love of learning, pushing students out of school and driving teachers out of the profession." — National Education Association
HR-4172 would change the frequency of federally mandated tests back to pre-NCLB levels, requiring tests once per grade span: grades 3–5, 6–9 and 10–12.
“Write or call or email your Congressman and Senators and urge them to support HR-4172.”  Diane Ravitch  3/4/14
Lloyd Lofthouse says: March 12, 2014 at 2:42 pm
Copy, paste and ReTweet often
Costly annual standardized tests harming children
WRITE
CALL
EMAIL
Your Congress Reps & urge them to support HR-4172
“We are the most over-tested country in the world. No other country in the world tests every student every year. That is ridiculous. It does not benefit the students. It just benefits the testing industry.” 
Diane Ravitch: Changing education from the grassroots up/ DA District Administraion 12/13
“state-sanctioned child abuse.”  one para labeled the standarized testing.
Chronic Stress Is Not Good for Children by dianeravitch 11/17/13 A mother writes:
 “... My daughter has developed chronic anxiety and sleep problems, chronic stomach aches and constipation...We will not have healthy school environments in elementary school until we get rid of the statewide testing and measure children by healthy developmental standards.
THE DEFIANT PARENTS: TESTING’S DISCONTENTS 1/23/14 Rebecca Mead
...Among the interests that standardized testing certainly does appear to be serving are corporate interests. Pearson, the largest educational publishing company in the United States, not only provides the standardized tests but also sells curricular materials for teachers to use in tailoring their teaching to the tests, test-prep materials for children to study in advance of taking those tests, and remedial materials for children to use after they’ve failed them. (It also inserts so-called field tests—questions for possible use in future tests—into its exams, turning public-school children into unwitting guinea pigs for procedures to be administered to other children...
Massachusetts Teachers Aim to Knock Down “Data Walls”  2/14/14 Sarah Jaffe in Truthout “Last year, K-12 teachers in the Holyoke, Massachusetts school district were told to try a new tactic to improve test scores: posting “data walls” in their classrooms. The walls list students by name and rank them by their scores on standardized tests...”  including K to third graders... “   Out of fear some teachers did as they were told. 
What lunatic would even suggest such a devastating practice?! How could any teacher be part of such a inhumane destructive practice!!!! Immediately all the teachers should have banned together and said, “No way!” The law would have to support them. They could not be fired for protecting students’ self-worth. The pressure of scoring well on asinine standardized tests is out of control. The destruction those standardized tests are are causing is so extensive- destroying students’ self image, teachers’ security, and stealing time from  teaching. When will they ever learn? When will they ever learn?
Melessa McMullian responses to Newsday’s “Stop the testing tug-a-war “ McMullian list five major problems with the present Standardized testing via Ravitch
How Standardized Testing Destroys Creativity and the Joy of Learning 12/30/13
Pros and Cons of Standardized testing
Standardized Testing and Its Victims byAlfie Kohn 9/27/2000 Fact 5. Virtually all specialists condemn the practice of giving standardized tests to children younger than 8 or 9 years old. I  say "virtually" to cover myself here, but, in fact, I have yet to find a single reputable scholar in the field of early-childhood education who endorses such testing for young children.
Susan Ochshorn: It Is Wrong to Test Small Children! by dianerav10/22-13

Forget teaching to the test — at this Washington Heights elementary school, parents canceled it! 10/21/13
More than 80% of parents voted to skip an exam that the state says helps evaluate teachers. Move is believed to be unprecedented.
A Response to Dr. Cashin and Cooper
by dianeravitch 4/2/14Drs Cashin & Cooper
“...Because of the harsh test focused school environments of chronic stress, most children no longer have a "safe haven". The same seems to apply to their home environment as well, since most parents have become indoctrinated to focus on their child's "performance", at the expense of validating their emotional and social needs.
Children and teenagers are searching for connections to anything or anyone who can give them affection and acceptance for who they are. They are getting tired of being used to perform for and please adults. They will find surrogate family connections in gangs or whatever group will accept them for who they are. Trouble is, most children don't have freedom to form their own identity in the autocratic environments that now exist in homes & schools, so they will spend a lifetime searching.
As a librarian, I am shocked at the increased rigidity this year, where our elementary students are told which library book that must choose.
Children have lost freedom in learning.
They are physically and mentally controlled to the extent that schools appear more like prisons. Reminds me of the book "The Twelve Year Sentence" by William Rickenbacker in 1974. How much worse things have become since then!”
Global Scandal: If You Can’t Teach Them, Test Them  10/23/13
Testing Kills Brains

How Standardized Tests Harm Students and How to Stop This Harm by Dr. Ravitch 9/26/13
Heather Vogell, a reporter for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, has spent a year studying the testing industry.
The series she is writing about testing for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution should receive a Pulitzer Prize. See here and here.
What she has uncovered is that the tests are flawed, that errors are common, and that students are denied a high school diploma because of errors made by the testing companies.
When I read about students who dropped out of school because they failed a test–because the test answers were wrong or mis-scored–it makes me feel that the testing companies should be subject to criminal prosecution.
Those students will not have a diploma, they will not be able to go to college, they will not be able to get a good job to support themselves and their family, because of a bad standardized test.
Let me repeat: Testing companies that inflict real harm on real people should be subject not just to fines, but to criminal prosecution.
The testing industry is ruining the lives of other people’s children while they rake in profits.
And they suffer no consequences. Only the students do.
Maryland schools need $100 million for online Common Core tests, says report Valerie Strauss 1/17/14
Common Core Tests in NY Spur Opt Out Movement by dianerav
The most amazing thing is happening. The Common Core tests were made so "rigorous" that most students were expected to fail, and they did. Less than a third across the state "passed" the tests because the passing mark was set very high and the content of the test was so challenging that many students couldn't finish the test.
But parents didn't get angry at their children's school or their children's teachers. They got angry at the New York State Education Department, which set the cut scores or passing marks. They got angry at Pearson, which constructed the tests.
As Diane Ravitch stated, “What we need more of is independent thinking, divergent thinking, innovation, ingenuity, responsibility, dedication, creativity--none of which is measured by the ability to check the right box on a standardized test.
ERRORS PLAGUE SCHOOL TESTING This series spotlights how standardized tests in public schools go wrong. Mistakes have become near commonplace despite the tests’ high stakes, reporter Heather Vogell’s national investigation shows. The findings follow years of in-depth reporting by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on test cheating.

Distress can faze test-takers and lead to poor results.
 Scoring errors jeopardize tests Flawed grading can ruin students’ futures.
Mistakes can happen anywhere Human error, humidity and dirty scanners all can lead to big errors

A Message from a Teacher Where School Shooting Occurred 10/2/13

This comment just arrived. Read it and weep for two lost lives. Think of the children whose social and emotional needs are ignored in pursuit of test scores
"Dear Diane,
...
"I am writing from Spark, NV, where the school shooting took place yesterday. All 3 of my kids attended this middle school. I am a former elementary, middle and high school principal in (Washoe County) NV and I am in awe of what is taking place in education.
"As for a young student coming onto a campus with a gun, I feel that he must have been bullied and set-out for revenge. Additionally, I feel that given the relentless, inflexible and unyielding focus on "test-taking" and school rankings and scores, etc., could have possibly contributed to this horrible school shooting.
"When teachers and counselors are spending an inordinate amount of time preparing, worrying and focused on test results, their time to connect with students is limited and scarce. (By the way, I hired this teacher who was killed and I guess I am upset and needed to vent). If one teacher, counselor or administrator had had a few extra minutes to look into this student's eyes and possibly connected with him in a meaningful way, maybe this catastrophe could have been averted.
...
Dr. Debra A. Feemster
Petition to Governor Cuomo and the Legislature to End High Stakes Testing / Round the Inkwell /12/29/12


“...Schools should be safe havens where students feel secure and cared for, not sorted and ranked by test scores. 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esting-education-leaders-really-dont-get-it/http://dianeravitch.net/2014/10/01/fairtest-weekly-report-on-anti-testmania/http://dianeravitch.net/2014/10/01/fairtest-weekly-report-on-anti-testmania/http://carnegie.org/fileadmin/Media/Programs/Opportunity_by_design/Opportunity_By_Design_FINAL.pdfhttp://dianeravitch.net/2014/09/27/national-urban-league-with-lots-of-gates-supports-common-core/http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2014/06/27/a-disturbing-look-at-common-core-tests-in-new-york/http://fairtest.org/newshttp://fairtest.org/newshttp://dianeravitch.net/2014/09/24/fairtest-reports-the-stunning-advances-of-movement-to-curb-testmania/http://dianeravitch.net/2014/09/24/fairtest-reports-the-stunning-advances-of-movement-to-curb-testmania/http://dianeravitch.net/2014/09/17/fairtest-growing-momentum-to-roll-back-testing-madness/http://dianeravitch.net/2014/09/17/fairtest-growing-momentum-to-roll-back-testing-madness/http://dianeravitch.net/2014/09/17/florida-broward-county-may-give-as-many-as-1500-new-tests/http://dianeravitch.net/2014/09/17/florida-broward-county-may-give-as-many-as-1500-new-tests/http://dianeravitch.net/2014/09/17/palm-beach-county-goes-test-berserk-planning-400-new-tests/http://dianeravitch.net/2014/09/17/palm-beach-county-goes-test-berserk-planning-400-new-tests/http://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/opinion/abetteriowa/2014/09/05/excessive-testing-hurts-iowa-children/15124973/http://dianeravitch.net/2014/09/02/florida-the-test-crazy-state/http://dianeravitch.net/author/dianerav/http://Read%20more%20here:%20http://www.miamiherald.com/2014/09/01/4322452/in-miami-dade-schools-testing.html#storylink=cpyhttp://dianeravitch.net/2013/09/26/how-standardized-tests-harm-students-and-how-to-stop-this-harm/http://dianeravitch.net/2013/09/26/how-standardized-tests-harm-students-and-how-to-stop-this-harm/http://dianeravitch.net/2013/09/26/how-standardized-tests-harm-students-and-how-to-stop-this-harm/https://bangordailynews.com/2014/05/08/opinion/why-standardized-testing-is-ruining-our-schools-hurting-our-kids/http://www.gazettextra.com/20140811/jason_stanford_testing_is_a_lousy_way_to_hold_schools_accountablehttp://www.gazettextra.com/20140811/jason_stanford_testing_is_a_lousy_way_to_hold_schools_accountablehttp://dianeravitch.net/2014/08/19/fairtest-flat-act-scores-show-failure-of-nclb-race-to-the-top/http://dianeravitch.net/2014/08/19/fairtest-flat-act-scores-show-failure-of-nclb-race-to-the-top/http://dianeravitch.net/author/dianerav/http://dianeravitch.net/2014/08/15/jeannie-kaplan-reform-has-failed-in-denver/http://dianeravitch.net/2014/08/14/ny-parent-educator-group-outraged-by-quality-and-accuracy-of-common-core-test-scores/http://dianeravitch.net/2014/08/14/ny-parent-educator-group-outraged-by-quality-and-accuracy-of-common-core-test-scores/https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jwnXJrh31kQ&feature=youtu.behttp://fairtest.org/sites/default/files/whatswrongstandardizedtestsinfographic.pdfhttp://eric.ed.gov/?id=ED528539http://eric.ed.gov/?id=ED528539http://hepg.org/hel-home/issues/23_2/helarticle/high-stakes-testing-and-the-corruption-of-americahttp://hepg.org/hel-home/issues/23_2/helarticle/high-stakes-testing-and-the-corruption-of-americahttp://online.wsj.com/articles/test-scores-are-no-sure-guide-to-what-students-know-1405122823?tesla=yhttp://online.wsj.com/articles/test-scores-are-no-sure-guide-to-what-students-know-1405122823?tesla=yhttp://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2014/05/21/32stipek.h33.htmlhttp://dianeravitch.net/2014/03/26/peter-greene-forget-about-ridiculous-expectations/http://dianeravitch.net/2014/06/14/superintendent-mark-henry-blasts-high-stakes-testing/http://www.chron.com/opinion/outlook/article/Henry-Tying-high-stakes-tests-to-teachers-is-5536255.phphttps://www.google.com/search?safe=off&tbm=isch&source=univ&sa=X&ei=OXRBU56PDpPisASK9oCQBg&ved=0CGMQsAQ&biw=1517&bih=789&q=US%20Common%20Core%20Testing%20maphttps://www.google.com/search?safe=off&tbm=isch&source=univ&sa=X&ei=OXRBU56PDpPisASK9oCQBg&ved=0CGMQsAQ&biw=1517&bih=789&q=US%20Common%20Core%20Testing%20map#facrc=_&imgdii=_&imgrc=J0VyOkPTejttlM%253A%3BKVzhTpJpWk0BNM%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fdownload.gannett.edgesuite.net%252Fcourierjournal%252Fbrightcove%252F29913742001%252F201308%252F3411%252F29913742001_2638917003001_vs-5220d7e2e4b010434e497311-672293876001.jpg%253FpubId%253D29913742001%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fwww.courier-journal.com%252Farticle%252F20130912%252FNEWS0105%252F309120148%252F%3B640%3B360http://testingtalk.orghttp://dianeravitch.net/2014/04/02/jeanne-rotunda-on-the-emotional-lives-of-children/http://thejournal.com/articles/2014/03/11/reforming-reform-bill-aims-to-curb-high-stakes-testing-mandates.aspx?m=2#3fyyuHrtHG1zIxrh.99http://thejournal.com/articles/2014/03/11/reforming-reform-bill-aims-to-curb-high-stakes-testing-mandates.aspx?m=2#3fyyuHrtHG1zIxrh.99http://lloydlofthouse.org/http://dianeravitch.net/2014/03/12/bipartisan-bill-proposes-curbing-federal-testing-mandates/comment-page-1/#comment-737317http://dia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A-F Grading

Indiana: The Injustice of A-F Grading Systems by dianerav  10/28 /13




Our schools are failing? Not true.

  1. AFT Video on UTube: The Real Lessons of PISA

Depicting that our schools are performing just as well and even better than other countries. It depends what one’s goals are

 
  1. Cheating Statistics/Educational Innovation

  2. Do You Do Tests by Wise Hat who give his view.

  3. Alphabet Assessment from WiseHat-

  4. Behind FRENENYLINES by Jason Stanford Texas 7/20/13 ...In 2010, Texas gave NCS Pearson a $468-million contract to write, publish and score 17 tests for grades 3-8 and 15 tests in high school, far exceeding federal requirements under NCLB. Everything is bigger in Texas, including the role that private contractors play in public schools....

 June 8th more than 15,000 rallied in Albany, NY speaking out against the testing.

  1. Arne Duncan: We Lied to OUr Children and Now We Tell the Truth: “You  Failed! 8/7/13”The scores are out for New York, and they are devastating.

The story in the New York Times reports:

Across the city, 26 percent of students in third through eighth grade passed the state exams in English, and 30 percent passed in math, according to the New York State Education Department.

The exams were some of the first in the nation to be aligned with a more rigorous set of standards known as Common Core, which emphasize deep analysis and creative problem-solving.

City and state officials spent months trying to steel the public for the grim figures, saying that a decline in scores was inevitable and that it would take several years before students performed at high levels. Under the old exams last year, the city fared better: 47 percent of students passed in English, and 60 percent passed in math.


  1. Lance Hill: Louisiana’s ‘Separate and Unequal’ Evaluation Planby dianerav 8/5/13

Lance Hill points out that his state has a double standard when it evaluates teachers by test scores. Some who teach high-scoring students were rated "ineffective" because their students showed no growth. Their ratings were set aside for review. They were treated differently from those who teach high-needs students.

The Louisiana formula:

Excuses for the teachers of the high-performing. No excuses for those who take on the biggest challenges.

  1. What is the Goal of Common Core Testing?


  1. New York Times Loves HIgh-Stakes Testing, No Matter How Absurd the Scoring ...If  New York continues to use this definition of proficiency, in which anything less than an A is failure, the majority of New York students will be failures forever.

This is a recipe for killing public education and destroying children's lives and crushing teacher morale.

  1. Primary Children Should Not be Given the Standardized Tests.

For years, psychologists have spoken out about the harmful effect of standardized testing on youngsters. Use evaluations such as Marie Clay’s (It is standardized but not threatening like the SAT and Met.) Use an IRI, or benchmark books; those results are meaningful and not demoralizing or threatening. Assessment should be meaningful and another tool for learning. Standardized tests such as the Iowa and Metropolitan do not give a teacher an instructional reading level.                                    

Testing is invalidated when: a child becomes emotionally upset and panics- vomits, cries or needs to use the bathroom; if a child loses his/her place on the test; if the student is tired or hungry; if they are afraid for whatever reason.

Results of district wide Standardized tests can not be the soul source of evaluating a student’s progress. At best the scores can reveal strengths and weaknesses in a school system.

Portfolio and Performance exams are far better substitutes  to Standardized testing.                    

  1. Why Should Parents Raise Money to Pay for Common Core Testing?8/8/13


  1. Errors that Caused the New York Test Scores to Collapse The Shock Doctrine may be a boomerang that helps to bring down the madness of No Child Left Behind, Race to the Top, Common Core, the Pearson empire, and every other part of the reformy enterprise...”


  1. NY Superintendent: Trying to Make Sense of Common Core Test Results 8/9/13

"Raising the bar?  High expectations?  Every student means every?  Rigorous standards?  Benchmark assessments?  No problem.  But don’t make kids and teachers collateral damage due to accelerated, unmapped, make-up-the-rules-as-you-go-along implementation."


  1. Who Set the NY Cut Scores- and What We Still Need to Know


  1. The Kids didn’t fail; N.Y.’s testing system did 8/9/13 Tim Farley

They don't care to know whether their young children are college-and-career-ready.

They know their children are doing well in school. They think the system is sick.

They know the tests will inflict unnecessary pain on children who have disabilities and children whose native language is not English.

They are doing what they can to break the system.

They are conscientious citizens.

May their numbers grow.


  1. Anthony Cody: Accountability Is Designed to Set Schools Up to Fail by Anthony Cody 8/913 Diane Ravitch states:

Anthony Cody describes how accountability has been turned into a weapon to create demoralization, failure, and privatization of public schools.

He reviews the recent fiascos involving Tony Bennett and New York's Common Core testing.

He notes that both the AFT and the NEA are trying hard to meet the demands of the corporate reformers. Both are trying to help teachers prepare for the Common Core sledge hammer, but Cody says it is a fruitless enterprise. The game is rigged. The reformers' goal is to generate failure so they can advance privatization.

Anthony Cody states:  “We now know that Tony Bennett's reputation as "Mr. Accountability" was as phony as the scores his Indiana administration assigned to supposedly failing schools. But this scandal is just the tip of a much bigger iceberg that has been ripping a hole in the side of public education.”

  1. Peter DeWitt Is Outraged by New York State Tests 8/10/13

“He is outraged by what the State Education Department has done to his students and their teachers.

You can feel his barely contained rage in these words:”

“I don't want to sound arrogant but most school leaders know more than the state education department does...where teachers and students are concerned. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't find professional development and learning opportunities for myself and for the teachers I am honored to work with every day...”

Peter DeWitt continues...

  1. Math Teacher Explains What Is Wrong with the Common Core 11/28/14

More  information on Opting Out on the Political page
 “When injustice becomes law, rebellion becomes duty.”Thomas Jefferson




Resistance! The Achievements of New York State Allies for Public Education 7/12/15 “NYSAPE led the opt out movement in New York state. Last year, 60,000 students opted out. This year, about 200,000 did. Who knows how much this movement will grow next year? Some predict that the number of opt outs will reach 400,000-500,000. At some point, everyone will ask, "Suppose they gave a test and no one took it?" No data: no ranking, rating, stigmatizing, failing, punishing, closing, firing.”

 NEA Opposes ALL Federally Mandated testing! 7/7/15

Network for Public Education: 110 State and Local Groups Have Signed Petition Against High-Stakes Testsby dianeravitch
Here is the list of 110 groups from across the nation that have signed a petition to Congress opposing high-stakes testing.
Fairtest: TestingResistance Across the Nation  - 18 States  wanting to reduce federal testing requirements 7/1/15
Robert Scott on ‘perversion’ of testing in education 2/2/2012 (Former Texas state commissioner of education)“...The assessment and accountability regime has become not only a cottage industry but a military-industrial complex. And the reason that you’re seeing this move toward the “common core” is there’s a big business sentiment out there that if you’re going to spend $600-$700 billion a year in public education, why shouldn’t be one big Boeing, or Lockheed-Grumman contract where one company can get it all and provide all these services to schools across the country... We’re operating like a business.”
Emily Talmage of Save Maine Schools"SBAC, you will not be missed – 
- many hours you took from children so that they could take part in your failed testing experiment.
- the way you set our children up to fail – confusing them with strange, multi-part directions that even adults could not decipher; giving them reading passages written for students well beyond their grade level; requiring them to manipulate complicated computer interfaces to answer your questions…
-how hard some parents had to fight to protect their children from your nonsense.
- hid your profit-seeking makers behind non-profit organizations.
- how very expensive you were."
John Oliver: Standardize Testing (HBO) 5/3/15 In a nut shell!

Todd Farley Explains “Aholistic Education” by dianeravitch 6/6/15
Todd Farley who spent 15 yrs. with the testing institute, wrote the book "Making the Grades" writing about the institutionalized malpractice of standardized testing. He writes in reaction to an article in NY Times which defended standardized testing. 
" ...mass-produced educational assessments written and scored by a completely-unregulated multi-billion dollar industry with a staggering history of errors allows a “much more nuanced” look at student performance than did, you know, a human teacher sitting in a class with human students....”
" ... in the name of expediency and profit the testing industry chops up the student’s test booklet and feeds it into its assembly-line scoring process, “nuance” be damned.”
"If a holistic education means caring about the whole child (including his or her physical, social, and emotional well-being as well as academic achievement), it seems to me the testing industry offers pretty much the opposite of that: a fixation only on numbers, and numbers that in my view both fail to understand individual children and fail to see any test-taker as an actual, living breathing human being. In fact, based on my experiences I’d say the best way to describe the work the testing industry does is not holistic education but “aholistic...”
Thousands of Scorers Take On the Common-Core Tests
Standardized test backlash: More parents pull kids from exams as protest 4/30/15 Christian Monitor/ Denver
I CRIED TODAY! By:  Robyn Brydalski 4/17/15 Badass Teachers Ass.

Principal:‘There comes a time when rules must be broken...That ime is now.’
2/19/15
Opt Out and Save Democracy
Steven Nelson / Education 4/12/15"Opt-out" may be the most important political movement of this generation. It may seem, at first glance, a small ripple in the education reform debate -- an understandable reaction to the frustration over increased testing and test-prep in America's schools. I suggest that it is much more important than meets the eye....Like every other powerful movement in American history, this one requires a snowstorm of small acts of defiance. Which side of history will you be on?”
Tim Slekar: Opt Out Hits a Nerve 4/17/15”... Tim says "Sorry but its over. This was never about helping our neediest children. It was always about destroying the public system, blaming teachers and then selling off our schools to the highest bidders."
Diane Ravitch adds, “Let me add a personal note about Tim. Five years ago, he urged me to endorse opting out, and I declined. I did not want to urge anyone to break the law. Over time, I have come to realize that Tim was right. Opting out is the only way that parents have to tell legislators to stop demonizing our public schools and our teachers. Doing so requires civil disobedience. We can take action. We will be heard. Our numbers will grow until politicians stop using test scores to harm children and privatize public schools.”
Long Island Students Opt Out of CC tests Test Mutiny: Tens of Thousands of New York Parents Revolt Against Standardized Exams 4/17/15
NYS Allies for Public Education2015 “ELA test refusal total 173,033 with 63% of Districts reporting...”  -
FairTest: The Astonishing Revolution Against High-Stakes Testing, from Coast to Coast4/9/15


Assemblyman Jim Tedisco Bringing common sense to common core by Jim Tedisco 3/2/15  “Perhaps the best kept secret in state government is that parents have a right to refuse to have their children take the Common Core standardized tests if they desire without fear of reprisal against their kids, teachers or schools....
I’m introducing new legislation, the “Common Core Parental Refusal Act”, to require that school districts notify parents of their rights to refuse to have their children in grades 3-8 participate in the Common Core standardized tests.
The legislation protects school districts and individual schools from having state aid withheld or any other punitive measures by the state.  The bill protects teachers from being penalized due to a lack of student participation or performance on the exams.  It also ensures that students are not punished or rewarded for their participation or lack thereof in the exams and would set-aside alternate study activities for those who refuse the tests so they are not forced to “sit and stare” in the same room as their peers who are taking the tests.
New Rochelle Teachers Union Mobilizing to Push Parents to Keep Children Out of New York State ...
Over 100 Toledo Teachers Demonstrate, Ask District to Opt Out of PARCC3/25/15
As testing opt-out movement grows, so does pushback from schools3/27/15 N.J, Maryland, NY... Most Encouraging!!!
Jon Pelto: A Teacher in Connecticut Defends the Right of Parents to Opt Out 3/25/15  A Must Read
Outrage: High-Stakes Testing in Kindergarten 3/8/15 Dr. Ravitch, “High-stakes testing has reached down into kindergarten, where it is developmentally inappropriate. Kindergarten is supposed to be the children's garden. It is supposed to be a time for learning to socialize with others, to work and play with others, to engage in imaginative activities, to plan with building blocks and games. It is a time when little children learn letters and numbers as part of their activities. They listen as the teacher reads stories, and they want to learn to read....”

Welcome to Kindergarten. Take This Test. And This One. Alexandria Neason 3/4/15  ....ending with “Whoever made this happen should be arrested for child abuse and theft of childhood.”


Breaking News: New Mexico Student Protests Against PARCC  Continue 3/3/15

Teacher to Parents: How to Stop the Test Mania
by dianeravitch  A comment on her blog: "I am a 4th grade teacher in NYS. There is absolutely no consequence for students if they opt out. It does not impact report card grades. It does not impact advancement to next grade. (FYI public schools do not want to retain students - it costs money!). In our district this would not even impact whether a student got into an accelerated program because that is based on a different test altogether (not a state test)! There is no student consequence. The only way this madness is going to end if parents in droves refuse the tests. They won't listen to teachers. But parents have a voice. Let's get back to teaching and doing great projects in schools. We must end the testing insanity!"

NJ Assembly Votes To Halt Use Of Standardized Tests
2/23/15
Missouri judge rules pact with Common Core testing ‘illegal’ 2/24/15

CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTOR!  Oregon 2/21/15

Common Core Aligned Assessments don’t miss the Great video which lays out the arguments against national standardized tests toward the bottom of the article.
The Assessment Landscape-Chris Tienken video by arsenal AV

Choose To Refuse: Say "No" to PARCC/SBAC  Testing1/28/15 Michelle Malkin        “...Pearson ... is the multibillion-dollar educational publishing and testing conglomerate -- not to mention a chief corporate sponsor of Jeb Bush's Fed Ed ventures -- that snagged $23 million in contracts to design the first wave of so-called "PARCC" tests....”

Want your kids to opt out of standardized tests? The Constitution may be with you.

Peg with Pen: Teachers Who Refuse to Give  the Test1/23/15



Solidarity to all of you.
We refuse to obey unjust laws. 

L.I. Teacher Refuses To Administer Common Core Tests, Urges Others To Join Her1/20/15
Jeanette Deutermann, the mastermind behind the 17,000-plus member anti-Common Core Long Island Opt Out Movement, who helped contribute to the more than 50,000 students refusing the tests in New York state last year, sees teachers refusing to administrate the tests as the next logical step in their mission to end them.
“...I believe that it is child abuse. I believe that giving these tests to my students makes me culpable in the abuse of children and I can no longer do that.”
Dr. Rella supports and respects her decision.
“I have known Beth for over 20 years,” he says. “This was not something she has done lightly. There was a lot of soul searching that went on and she said to me, as a matter of conscience, she cannot participate. She cannot proctor this test. And I support that.”

Connecticut: Do Students Have the Right to Opt Out of Common Core Testing?by dianeravitch
Jonathan Pelto reports that some school officials have warned parents that they do not have the right to opt their child out of the Smarter Balanced test of Common Core. Pelto says they are wrong.     He writes:                   “Despite repeated posts here at Wait, What? and the work of a number of state-wide efforts to inform state and local officials that they must respect a parent’s fundamental right to opt their children out of the Common Core SBAC Test, a significant number of local school superintendents, and their staff, continue to mislead parents, throw up barriers or harass parents into believing that they have lost their right to protect their children from an unfair test that is rigged to ensure that as many as 7 in 10 children fail.
So once again, let us be clear!
*There is no federal or state law, regulation or policy that prohibits a parent or guardian from opting their children out of these inappropriate, unfair and discriminatory tests.
*There is no federal or state law, regulation or policy that allows the government or local school districts to punish parents or their children if the parent refuses to allow their child or children to participate in the Common Core SBAC testing scam.
Not only is there no law, regulation or policy that prohibits parents from opting their children out of the Common Core SBAC test, but although the Malloy administration issued a memo last year instructing superintendents, principals and local school officials on how to mislead parents, when Governor Malloy’s Commissioner of Education was finally brought before the General Assembly’s Education Committee on March 12, 2014 to address concerns surrounding the Common Core and Common Core SBAC testing system, Commissioner Pryor admitted that,
“On an individual level, I don’t believe that there’s any specific provision in law regarding consequences… To my knowledge there are no state provisions that are specific, or no federal provisions that are specific to an individual student.”
The Chairman of the State Board of Education, Attorney Alan Taylor, agreed with the Commissioner and went even further stating that there was no legal action that the state or school district could take to punish a parent or child who opted out of the Common Core SBAC test.
Their 3 min. video
Open Letter to Their Community:
Excessive standardized testing is harmful to our learning.
The CNAS standards do not represent the material taught in Colorado high schools.
Studies have repeatedly shown that standardized testing does not accurately measure teacher or student performance.
We as students are subjected to these tests at the same time as Colorado is seeing cuts in education funding. 
    While Colorado has cut spending for schools, it continues to spend tens of millions of dollars on standardized testing each year.

Peter Greene: Don’t Be Fooled by the “Cut Back on Testing” Hoax 10/16/14 “..." It's like living in a crime-ridden neighborhood and being told, "Good news! The muggers have gotten together and decided that they will coordinate more carefully so that you only get robbed once a day."
Students Are "More Than a Score" on Standardized Tests 10/25/14 Truthout

Dickesn and Standardized Testing 9/15/14 “
“These are dark times for America's schools. They have been subjected to a federal mandate of perpetual testing and retesting of the basic skills of reading and math. What was once a proud, well-rounded, time-honored tradition has been reduced to the smoking hulk of the pitiful, dumbed-down remnants of its former self.... A curriculum that knew nothing of the joy and excitement of learning; which forbade children to be creative and curious; which discouraged self-emancipation and transcendence from the here and now by reading; which consigned the young irreparably to a Slough of Despond of rote learning -- all this, blessedly, was suddenly gone.
Each child is different, one from another, with different hopes, aspirations, visions, and dreams. If we as a nation want our children to become what each of them could become if we but fostered their dreams and their belief in themselves, we must educate them not for the anthill-needs of a collective State with its own agenda -- but for themselves alone and toward their own unique destinies!”
...”No other nation tests every child every year. No other nation subjects little children to 8-hour tests, no other nation rates teachers by the test scores of their students. We are breaking new ground. But it is not innovation. It is a misplacing of bad business techniques into education....”10/4/14

Lace to the Top on Trial by Test by dianerav
“...Students became ill during tests and pushed themselves to the point of vomiting. They broke down and cried. They sought refuge in bathrooms. They went through countless pencils as they erased answers and any trace of self -esteem. They lost sleep and gave themselves nightmares. Their education was sacrificed for test prep. Several raced to the top, but few made it.
Arizona Officials Harass Teacher For Criticizing Common Core Arizona -pulling out of the federal Common Core tests 7/5/14
Yeah for Kentucky!
In Kentucky: A School Without Standardized  Tests 6/10/14 “...The state has another distinction: It is one of the few states that has no charter schools. Communities in Kentucky are committed to their community public schools--so far.
Kentucky has a school that is very different from most other public schools: this school has no standardized testing. (As of 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hanged_less_time_for_play_more_time_for_standardized_tests.htmlhttp://dianeravitch.net/2015/03/03/breaking-news-new-mexico-student-protests-against-parcc-continue/http://dianeravitch.net/2015/03/03/breaking-news-new-mexico-student-protests-against-parcc-continue/http://dianeravitch.net/2015/03/03/teacher-to-parents-how-to-stop-the-test-mania/http://dianeravitch.net/author/dianerav/http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2015/02/23/nj-assembly-to-vote-on-bill-that-would-halt-use-of-standardized-tests/http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/feb/24/missouri-judge-rules-pact-with-common-core-testing/https://teacherslettersofprofessionalconscience.wordpress.com/2015/02/21/kathleen-jeskey-tells-canby-or-school-board-i-am-a-conscientious-objector-to-this-test/http://stopcommoncoreillinois.org/common-core-assessments/https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1r9_ZpNbU6Ahttp://townhall.com/columnists/michellemalkin/2015/01/28/choose-to-refuse-say-no-to-parccsbac-testing-n1949150?utm_source=thdaily&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=nl&newsletterad=http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/want-your-kids-to-opt-out-of-standardized-tests-the-constitution-may-be-with-you/2015/01/09/bea151b4-973a-11e4-8005-1924ede3e54a_story.htmlhttp://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/want-your-kids-to-opt-out-of-standardized-tests-the-constitution-may-be-with-you/2015/01/09/bea151b4-973a-11e4-8005-1924ede3e54a_story.htmlhttp://www.pegwithpen.com/2015/01/teachers-who-refuse-to-administer-high.htmlhttp://3.bp.blogspot.com/-xbChrz-WnW4/VMGs8YRcm3I/AAAAAAAAARM/1hg2rEkuLhY/s1600/MLK.jpghttp://www.longislandpress.com/2015/01/20/l-i-teacher-refuses-to-administer-common-core-tests-urges-others-to-join-her/http://www.longislandpress.com/2015/01/20/l-i-teacher-refuses-to-administer-common-core-tests-urges-others-to-join-her/http://www.longislandpress.com/2014/04/07/thousands-of-long-islanders-opt-out-of-common-core-testing/http://dianeravitch.net/2015/02/08/connecticut-do-students-have-the-right-to-opt-out-of-common-core-testing/http://dianeravitch.net/2015/02/08/connecticut-do-students-have-the-right-to-opt-out-of-common-core-testing/http://dianeravitch.net/author/dianerav/http://jonathanpelto.com/2015/02/05/school-superintendents-stop-harassing-parents-opting-children-common-core-sbac-test/https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=38zAfVOu1tw&feature=youtu.behttp://dianeravitch.net/2014/10/18/peter-greene-dont-be-fooled-by-the-cut-back-on-testing-hoax/http://dianeravitch.net/2014/10/18/peter-greene-dont-be-fooled-by-the-cut-back-on-testing-hoax/http://www.huffingtonpost.com/frank-breslin/dickens-and-standardized-testing_b_5760932.html?1409777831http://dianeravitch.net/2014/10/04/new-video-game-no-pineapple-left-behind/http://www.lacetothetop.com/home.htmlhttp://dianeravitch.net/2013/08/10/lace-to-the-top-on-trial-by-test/http://dianeravitch.net/author/dianerav/http://dianeravitch.net/2014/07/05/arizona-officials-harass-teacher-for-criticizing-common-core/http://dianeravitch.net/2014/07/05/arizona-officials-harass-teacher-for-criticizing-common-core/http://dianeravitch.net/2014/06/10/in-kentucky-a-school-without-standardized-tests/http://www.npr.org/blogs/ed/2014/06/01/317433695/in-kentucky-students-succeed-without-testsshapeimage_3_link_0shapeimage_3_link_1shapeimage_3_link_2shapeimage_3_link_3shapeimage_3_link_4shapeimage_3_link_5shapeimage_3_link_6shapeimage_3_link_7shapeimage_3_link_8shapeimage_3_link_9shapeimage_3_link_10shapeimage_3_link_11shapeimage_3_link_12shapeimage_3_link_13shapeimage_3_link_14shapeimage_3_link_15shapeimage_3_link_16shapeimage_3_link_17shapeimage_3_link_18shapeimage_3_link_19shapeimage_3_link_20shapeimage_3_link_21shapeimage_3_link_22shapeimage_3_link_23shapeimage_3_link_24shapeimage_3_link_25shapeimage_3_link_26shapeimage_3_link_27shapeimage_3_link_28shapeimage_3_link_29shapeimage_3_link_30shapeimage_3_link_31shapeimage_3_link_32shapeimage_3_link_33shapeimage_3_link_34shapeimage_3_link_35shapeimage_3_link_36shapeimage_3_link_37shapeimage_3_link_38shapeimage_3_link_39shapeimage_3_link_40shapeimage_3_link_41shapeimage_3_link_42shapeimage_3_link_43shapeimage_3_link_44shapeimage_3_link_45shapeimage_3_link_46shapeimage_3_link_47shapeimage_3_link_48shapeimage_3_link_49shapeimage_3_link_50shapeimage_3_link_51shapeimage_3_link_52shapeimage_3_link_53shapeimage_3_link_54shapeimage_3_link_55shapeimage_3_link_56shapeimage_3_link_57shapeimage_3_link_58shapeimage_3_link_59shapeimage_3_link_60shapeimage_3_link_61shapeimage_3_link_62shapeimage_3_link_63shapeimage_3_link_64shapeimage_3_link_65shapeimage_3_link_66shapeimage_3_link_67shapeimage_3_link_68shapeimage_3_link_69shapeimage_3_link_70shapeimage_3_link_71shapeimage_3_link_72shapeimage_3_link_73shapeimage_3_link_74shapeimage_3_link_75shapeimage_3_link_76shapeimage_3_link_77shapeimage_3_link_78
  1. A Terrifying Report about Child Abuse in Texas Schools–and in Your State Too by dianerav 10/16/14

“...A group of mental health professionals prepared the following report. It is long. It is painful to read. (but crucial to understanding the psychological harm inflicted on young children via the current standardized testing mandates )This is what many schools are doing to our children. They must be stopped. This borders on criminality. Wake up. It is happening in many states and communities....

...Children in most elementary schools of Texas are being forced to function in an environment of chronic stress. Chronic stress is known to change brain chemistry in children and can lead to mental illness. Many of these young children with genetic predisposition to autism and other neurological, sensory, and developmental delays are experiencing chronic traumatic stress and will suffer even greater psychological harm. The demands for high test performance ratings are causing these children to be exploited and experimented on as if they were caged mice in a science lab. They are being psychologically abused on a grand scale that will impact the mental health of future generations.

It is common knowledge among educators in Texas that punitive methods of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), which are known to cause psychological harm, are being used in many elementary schools across Texas to enhance test performance; however, I will focus my report on the one school where I have observed this psychological abuse - Blackshear Elementary school in Austin ISD.

Cont. reading:

The New 3 R’s System of behavioral engineering that AISD is celebrating and perpetuating uses the same methods of punitive classic conditioning that are known to enslave children for child labor and sex trafficking, and for obedience training for dogs and zoo animals. It is the same dysfunctional system that kept the black culture of the South submissive to oppression for the hundred years after the Civil War. It is the same dysfunctional system that led to the Nazi Regime in Germany prior to WWII. The New 3 R’s System has the same sophisticated dysfunctional dynamics and abuse of power that can be observed in every poisonous pedagogy that has ever woven its way through history. It can be observed in families, cults, and countries. It is efficient, and it does result in high performance, but at the expense of great psychological damage to its victims....

The use of punitive ABA methods for conditioning young children in a controlled environment is a violation of human rights. It is unethical, immoral, and illegal. It is psychological abuse which research has shown to have high potential for mental illness and personality disorders that will manifest in young adulthood, but are known to have roots in childhood.

... Those same methods can be observed in the dysfunctional dynamics of families with battered-person syndrome, and are sometimes known as mind control, or Stockholm syndrome.

What the New 3 R’s System calls good discipline, is actually punitive ABA. The signs of psychological abuse that I have observed from chronic stress in this system usually begin by age 6 - 8. The most common symptoms begin with signs of desensitization, anxiety, loss of imagination, loss of spontaneity, loss of humor, regression, irritability, self injury, inability to concentrate, and dissociation. However, the most destructive effects of this psychological abuse will not manifest until the children reach their teenage years, or early adulthood. At that time, their conditioned emotional repression from victimization of institutional bullying and positive/negative ambivalent role modeling can lead to mental illness and criminality.

Children’s symptoms from chronic traumatic stress are the same symptoms as High Functioning Autism. ...High Functioning Autism, especially anxiety, depression, mood disorders, and thought disorders. It is our believe that the elementary school environment of chronic traumatic stress is the environmental factor causing soaring rates of High Functioning Autism in children who have a neurological genetic predisposition to autism.

The elementary school environment of chronic traumatic stress is believed to be a cause of the increase in personality disorders, especially Narcissistic, Borderline, and Antisocial Disorders, which often lead to criminality and violence. These disorders do not manifest until adulthood, but are known to have roots in early childhood, with symptoms beginning around age 5. These symptoms can be observed in children who have no emotions of empathy or guilt, no emotions of pleasure, imaginative play, spontaneity, or humor.

II...TABSOLUTE CONTROL IN A CONTROLLED ENVIRONMENT

Absolute teacher/caregiver dominance in a controlled environment using punitive classical conditioning to shape behavior through fear, humiliation, and shame are the hallmarks of the New 3 R’s System. This poisonous pedagogy has been demonstrated throughout history to produce efficiency in human systems and gain desired performance, but at the same time repressing vitality, creativity, and emotions in children. This extreme form of discipline takes away any opportunity for self directed learning or original thinking. It represses children’s individuality and independence. It causes them to feel helpless and dependent. It breaks a child’s spirit and represses their imagination. It prevents the development of higher level thinking skills. Research has shown this pedagogy to cause children to become obedient to abusive authority, self destructive, codependent, addictive, mentally ill, and have deviant behaviors. It is institutional bullying.

PUBLIC HUMILIATION IN THE CHILD’S COMMUNITY...continue reading

FRIDAY ASSESSMENTS

The discipline called Friday Assessments is a marathon of weekly testing sessions lasting up to four hours every Friday. ...Four consecutive hours of testing every Friday for young children is not developmentally age appropriate or healthy, nor does it illustrate good professional judgement from an administrator. It is mental and physical cruelty. For children, it is torture.

NEW 3 R’S DAILY TIMED MATH DRILLS

PUBLIC DISPLAY OF CHILDREN’S DAILY BEHAVIOR REPORT

EXCESSIVE REWARD & PUNISHMENT FOR PERFORMANCE

MESSAGES OF MISTRUST AND INCOMPETENCE

THE RIGHT PEOPLE

The New 3 R’s uses a selective process for teachers and staff in order to implement the program effectively into a school. There is a process of weeding out all teachers and staff who have objections to the methods of the system or who have recognition of the potential for psychological harm.
The Right People means that everyone on the faculty must agree with the principal and not express any opposition or disagreement to the methods.

The gradual selective process of the Right People begins with flight, fight, or freeze, which are the normal reactions to a threat of abuse of power.

Summary:

The New 3 R’s System is a rigid system of behavioral engineering that uses punitive methods of ABA which are known to cause psychological harm to young children. Some of the methods are known to cause mental illness and criminality. The New 3 R’s is a sophisticated system of bullying.

AISD administrators allowed the New 3 R’s System to be used in elementary schools for the purpose of obtaining high performance ratings on statewide tests, but without adequate oversight of mental health experts who would have recognized the potential for psychological abuse.

AISD has allowed administrators to use punitive methods of ABA in violation of certification requirements and with methods known to cause psychological damage to young children.

AISD administrators ignored the counselor’s reports of the New 3 R’s methods as being psychologically abusive to children, and retaliated against the counselor.

Children in Texas public elementary schools are entitled to have their mental and physical health protected by state law. There are currently no agencies with adequate laws in place to protect the rights of these children.

  1. A Terrifying Report about Child Abuse in Texas Schools–and in Your State Too10/23/13


 I am a former, part time item writer for a private testing company; I wrote for many different state standards under NCLB. I must say that poorly constructed, confusing, or developmentally inappropriate items undermine the validity of standardized scores and subsequent use in teacher evaluation. When standardized tests are properly constructed, such items which might make it to a field test will almost certainly be vetted during what is typically a two year process. Many items on the Pearson math and ELA administered last April here in NY were written, in my opinion, in an intentionally confusing style using obtuse or arcane vocabulary. The ELA test in particular included confusing item stems and distractors that were not clearly wrong. There were far too many items that turned subjective opinions (most likely; best; author’s intent; etc.) into a “one right, three wrong” format. Many teachers were unsure of the correct answers on a number of vague and fuzzy items.
The math test included many items that were ridiculously convoluted. Although there may be other compelling arguments against VAM teacher evaluations, corrupt test writing, norm referencing (instead of criterion referenced scoring), and manipulating cut scores add up to a rather important set of reasons to invalidate the entire process.

Texas again!

  1. Feds Tell Texas to Try Again on Teacher Evaluations 1/23/15

  2. What’s in Texas' $500 Million Testing Contract with Pearson?7/l6/13

  3. Joyce Murdock Feilke: What Are We Doing to the Children?by dianeravitch 7/11/14

A comment from a reader, Joyce Murdock Feilke, in Texas:

"As a mental health professional in Texas schools, I can relate to this teacher's comment: "The students are beginning to "check out".

"Dissociation is how children often cope with stress which they are developmentally unprepared to process. When it becomes chronic in their daily environment, it can lead to mental illness, since it impacts their social and emotional development.

"The age inappropriate focus on performance and data with age inappropriate material and methods related to high stakes testing, has created an authoritarian environment of fear, intimidation, and boredom for children in elementary schools. This performance based reward/punishment environment is the same punitive classical conditioning (behaviorism) that is used to "train" dogs and zoo animals.

"I have observed the increasing symptoms of emotional desensitization in children in Texas elementary schools and spoken up and written articles about it for the past two years . After a time in this environment, many children will begin to look more like prisoners of war than normal healthy children. They lose vitality, spontaneity, and the ability for imaginative play. They have difficulty with scientific thinking and using higher level thinking skills. They become obedient and submissive to authority, and function more robotic. The symptoms of traumatic stress: Regression, Dissociation, and Constriction, are similar in PTSD, BOS, and "Battered Child Syndrome": In these children's daily school environment, it is not "post" as after acute trauma, but it is "chronic", and has high potential to cause permanent psychological damage in the form of personality disorders (mental illness).

"What many of us in Texas schools originally thought to be soaring rates of High Functioning Autism (HFA), which also has symptoms of regression, dissociation, and constriction, is now thought to be stress related rather than HFA.

For young children who still have a developing brain, being forced to function in a chronic state of hyper vigilance and/or hypoarousal or hyperarousal, will become "hard wired" into the personality. It changes their brain chemistry. CCSS is creating Anxiety Disorders and Depression that many children will suffer for a lifetime...”

"Few politicians or "reformers" have listened to the voices of mental health professionals or educators who are warning about the potential for psychological harm in this CCSS (and Texas STAAR) environment. After writing numerous professional articles and reports for state legislators, only to have them ignored, I wrote the same message in the rhyme of Dr Suess: Here is my warning about CCSS and Texas STAAR, which I will keep repeating until someone listens:

+Listened+to+the+Lorax (out of stock_)

  1. A Discussion of PARCC Common Core Test Question: Picky and Pointless  4/2/14

Disgusted

Bob Shepherd, 4/29/14 posted on Diane Ravitch’s blog:

“...Children come into the world eager to learn. They are breathtakingly curious. And we have an opportunity either to build upon them–to nurture their joy in learning so that they will emerge intrinsically motivated, lifelong, independent learners, or we can kill that. Nurturing that intrinsic motivation to learn is our PRIME DIRECTIVE. Much follows from it. Kids differ. We meet them where they are, and we build on that. That’s the business we are in.

The terrible irony of education deform is that it creates an environment that leads to precisely the opposite effects that are intended. And the only reason we are taking this approach is that a lot of people in positions of power over our educational system do not understand what motivates and so do not understand what I have just called Lesson 1.

Extrinsic punishment and reward systems (e.g., standardized testing, stack ranking) are INHERENTLY DEMOTIVATING FOR COGNITIVE TASKS. There is enormous research on this. And, of course, an endless diet of test prep is guaranteed to kill motivation and love of learning...”

Pasi Sahlberg: Why There Is No Teach for Finland by dianeravitch 2/15/15

Pasi Sahlberg, the eminent Finnish scholar, writes here about why there is no Teach for Finland and why Finland is not a model for Teach for America. In his travels, he has heard people say that TFA is like Finland, because both recruit "the best and the brightest." Sahlberg explains why this is not the case. While it is true that would-be teachers are carefully selected, those who are selected must meet a number of criteria, including a readiness and intention to make teaching a lifelong career.

Once they are admitted to a teacher education program at the end of their secondary schooling, future teachers must engage in a rigorous program of study:

All teachers in Finland must hold a master’s degree either in education (primary school teachers) or in subjects that they teach (lower- and upper-secondary school teachers). Primary school teachers in Finland go through rigorous academic education that normally lasts five to six years and can only be done in one of the research universities that offer teacher education degrees. This advanced academic program includes modules on pedagogy, psychology, neuroscience, curriculum theories, assessment methods, research methods and clinical practical training in teacher training school attached to the university. Subject teachers complete advanced academic studies in their field and combine that with an additional year of an educational program. This approach differs dramatically from the one employed by TFA, requiring only five or six weeks of summer training for college graduates, with limited clinical training in the practice of teaching.

As Sahlberg explains, teaching in Finland is a profession, and no one would be allowed to teach based solely on having high grades, high test scores, and going to an elite university. There are high standards for entry into the teacher education program and high standards for entry into the classroom as a professional. Consequently, teaching in Finland is a prestigious career. And that is why Finland does not have Teach for Finland.

  1. What if Finland’s great teachers taught in U.S. schools 5/16/14 “ only “the best and the brightest” are accepted. As a consequence, teaching is regarded as an esteemed profession, on par with medicine, law or engineering. There is another “teacher quality” checkpoint at graduation from School of Education in Finland. Students are not allowed to earn degrees to teach unless they demonstrate that they possess knowledge, skills and morals necessary to be a successful teacher.             ... In other words, up to two-thirds of what explains student achievement is beyond the control of schools, i.e., family background and motivation to learn....First, standardization should focus more on teacher education and less on teaching and learning in schools....teachers should have autonomy in planning their work, freedom to run their lessons the way that leads to best results, and authority to influence the assessment of the outcomes of their work. ...   flourish on account of the freedom to teach without the constraints of standardized curricula and the pressure of standardized testing; strong leadership from principals who know the classroom from years of experience as teachers; a professional culture of collaboration; and support from homes unchallenged by poverty.” improves teaching and learning.

  2. What These American Educators Learned in Finland

4 /30/14      ...”What Is Different About Finnish Schools?

Surprisingly for several of us, we did not see technology used in classrooms at all. We saw no use of standardized testing. In fact, we verified that there is no standardized testing in Finland unless the classroom teacher requests such a test for her or his own diagnostic purposes; but never for accountability. Progress is monitored, but the design and timing of exams are left up to the classroom teacher. We saw an egalitarian curriculum that includes substantial coursework in the fine arts, social sciences, the humanities and physical education in addition to mathematics, science and reading. High quality learner-created artwork adorns classrooms and all hallways. Not unlike the United States just a few decades ago, pianos are found in elementary classrooms....”

  1. Finns beat U.S. with low-tech take on school

Will Bunch: They Will Never Catch the Real Culprits in Philadelphia 5/15/14 ...”If you created a jail for the test pushers, you would have to open cells for some of the biggest names in Congress, as well as high-level officials in the Bush and Obama administrations....”

Atlanta Journal Constitution: Testing Errors Widespread 9/14/13
Miscalculated scores, flawed questions and other errors on standardized tests have become near commonplace in public schools across the country, according to a new investigation by The Atlanta-Journal Constitution....
The investigation revealed that almost one in 10 tests nationwide contained significant blocks of questions that were likely flawed. Such questions made up 10 percent or more of those tests — threatening their overall quality and raising questions about fairness.
Anyone wanting to read about the built-in flaws of the testing industry should read Todd Farley's book Making the Grades, which exposes the scandalous lack of qualifications of those hired to score test questions, their poor training and supervision, and the superficial attention they give to the answers students write.”

When Testing Becomes “Cruel and Unusual Punishment”
by dianerav
“A principal in New York told me the following story. He is
reliable. This is a true story.
He wrote to tell me that the state is requiring a student with Down syndrome to take the state's new Common Core test. It is an "alternative" test but just as "hard" as the regular test. She is almost certain to fail. Only 5% of students with disabilities passed the Common Core tests....(cont.


Educator Reacts with Disgust to Common Core Tests4/4/14
“I copied this from the testingtalk.org website just now and thought you might like to see this. Bravo to this principal. I wish I taught for him/her!
Disheartened and Disgusted
Author: Anonymous, Administrator, Principal
State: NY
Test: State test: Pearson
Date: April 3 at 4:38 pm ET
"As an administrator of a suburban public school, I have dedicated my life to educating young children… as a teacher, as a parent and as a school administrator. ...
"Each day of the ELA testing, I sat down to read the assessments my students were taking. I was appalled at what they were asked to answer and exhausted from reading and rereading passages over and over again. If I as an adult struggled with the task, I can only imagine how my students suffered.
"Each day of the ELA testing, I have walked my building, peering into classrooms and observing my third, fourth and fifth graders attempting to complete what I have now termed a ludicrous ELA assessment. I became increasingly disheartened as I watched my young students, with anguished looks upon their faces, struggling to answer poorly worded and ambiguous questions based on text too difficult for them to comprehend. After twenty-nine years of administering standardized tests, I noted for the first time children handing in test booklets with many blank pages. Instead of children feeling exhilarated after completing the ELA because they knew they had successfully met the high expectations that have been set for them, the children were forlorn because they knew that they had failed to rise to the occasion. How could we have done this to young children????
"Throughout the day, I have engaged in informal conversations with my teachers questioning how going forward we will try and prepare our youngsters for this exam. The answer is unanimous… preparing for this exam is impossible and so going forward, we will continue to do what we do best, teach children to embrace the joy of reading and writing. We will teach to the common core standards so that we prepare children for real-life reading … reading for enjoyment, reading for key ideas and details, reading for craft and structure, and reading for the integration of knowledge and ideas.
"All of my life I have been a rule follower. Now, for the first time, I will become a staunch advocate for eliminating these assessments that have no validity and offer no legitimate data for improving students’ English Language Arts skills."http://dianeravitch.net/2014/05/15/will-bunch-they-will-never-catch-the-real-culprits-in-philadelphia/http://dianeravitch.net/2014/05/15/will-bunch-they-will-never-catch-the-real-culprits-in-philadelphia/http://dianeravitch.net/2013/09/14/atlanta-journal-constitution-testing-errors-widespread/http://dianeravitch.net/2013/10/09/when-testing-becomes-cruel-and-unusual-punishment/http://dianeravitch.net/author/dianerav/http://dianeravitch.net/2014/04/04/educator-reacts-with-disgust-to-common-core-tests/http://testingtalk.org/shapeimage_4_link_0shapeimage_4_link_1shapeimage_4_link_2shapeimage_4_link_3shapeimage_4_link_4shapeimage_4_link_5shapeimage_4_link_6

Speaking Out Against Common Core

and the Aligned Testing


  1. Jan Resseger: The Debate About NCLB

Jan Resseger, one of our most articulate and passionate advocates for public education, has started her own blog. She lives in Ohio, which is one of the states where the privatization movement is moving fast to take money from public schools and transfer it into private hands.

  1. Testing Crashes in Indiana, Oklahoma, Kentucky, and Minnesota-Schools Matter by Jim Horn 5/2/13

The following statement was published in the Reading Teacher by Karen Reed

She gives us an example of the harmful practice of standardized testing.

“I teach elementary school in South Carolina and have actually been considering going to law school to fight to have more of a voice against the testing atrocities that are occurring in our schools. Most teachers I talk to agree that high-stakes testing is not good for the children (PACT in my state's case) but no one seems to be doing much about it!

I want to find ways to make a difference and I am prepared to get a law degree to fight the morons who know nothing about what is best for children who are passing the laws. Who is in bed with these testing companies anyway? South Carolina spends between 10 and 15 million dollars on the PACT test.

We had our first of two weeks of testing this week and I have had students actually have panic attacks. I went so far as to tell a 5th grade student who could not stop crying that it was a dumb test created and scored by dumb people and that in ten years it will be so irrelevant what she scored. . . .

I feel I am being tortured and expected to torture my students with an invalid measure. The same student told me later after she had calmed down, "Don't they know that there are better ways to see a student's achievements."

I told her that when I finally get someone to listen to me about how absurd our culture of testing is that I will certainly be quoting her as a wise 5th grader who sees a light so many "intelligent" adults running our states and country are oblivious

Opting Out cont.

Is An "Opt-Out" Letter on Your Back-To-School List?

An Opt Out Letter for Parents in NY

Oklahoma

  1. Oklahoma PTA Urges Parents to Opt Out of Field Tests 1/27/15

  2. United Opt Out Meeting in Broward County, Florida, January  -1-12-15

  3. Oklahoma: First-Grade Teachers Tell Parents They Won’t Administer Tests 11/17/14 ...”72 days of our school year we, as teachers, are tied up assessing students with the mandated assessments. Why are our schools failing? ...”


Colorado


  1. Breaking News: 97% of Seniors at Colorado High School Boycott Test 11/14/14

  2. Mass Student Opt Out at Boulder’s Fairview High School 11/14/14

  3. Breaking News: Colorado District Opts Out of State and Federal Testing!10//19/14

  4. Help Colorado Opt-out Coalition Buy Billboards 10//2/14

...parents in Colorado ...want to let parents know that they have a right to opt their children out of high-stakes state testing via  highway billboards.


  1. Thousands of students protest Colorado standardized tests - 11/13/14

  2. Movement to opt out of state tests growing10/19/14

  3. Colorado Springs Votes to Opt Out Most Students 9/29/14

  4. Myra Blackmon: Time to Rise Up Against Testing! 10/25/14


  1. The Final Straw: Cancel Our Labor Contracts, We Cancel Your Tests 10/11/14 Steven Singer, teacher

New Jersey

  1. New Jersey Parent: The Movement is Growing

New York

  1. NYS Dept. of Ed. Won’t Allow Parents to Refuse Common Core Testing! 2/25/14 Sara Noble


  1. NY Teacher,Peg Robertson,  a teacher and a founder of United Opt Out, says: 10/1/14

“The classroom is no longer driven by the rhythm of learning, it is driven by the testing schedule which continually interrupts our children’s talk and exploration of their interests – the testing schedule extinguishes the passion for learning.”

You have summarized the ugly and harmful nature of federal. test-and-punish reform so perfectly. This is the Gates/Duncan/Obama K-12 legacy. Read to the end



  1. Parents in New York Tell You Here Why You Should Opt Out

1.The high-stakes standardized testing is a massive waste of time. The results come in long after your child has changed teachers.

2.The teachers learns nothing of value from the tests: just the scores. 3..The tests have no diagnostic values.

4.It is a horse race with no point other than to steal instructional time, to rob your child of the joy of learning.

The only way to stop it is to say NO. Don't feed the machine. Remember that your child's data is being mined even as he or she takes the test. Say NO.

Join:   http://testingtalk.org



  1. Dr. Joe Rella On Opting Out- answers all your concerns 2/1/14


  1. NY State has a $32million contract with Pearson to create tests for the state Chalkbeat 4/22/13

  2. New York Plans Cradle-to-Grave Data Tracking of Students by Diane Ravitch 1/31/14

Here is another reason to opt your children out of state testing. The state plans to collect data on every student throughout their lives, on the nutty belief that someone somewhere will figure out from this Big Data "what works."

This massive collection of data reflects the NSA's conviction that the best way to stop terrorism is to listen to every phone call and read every email of everyone in the U.S. and abroad.

Maybe these will be the jobs of the future: reading "private" emails, listening to "private" phone calls, reviewing the confidential information of students.

Sounds like East Germany's Stasi, not America.

  1. Brooklyn Parents Opting Out of State Testing

3/30/14                         PRESS ALERT

Contact 1: Elizabeth Elsass, 917-605-3640, rinelsass1@gmail.com
Contact 2: Dani Liebling, 347-218-3107, daniliebling@yahoo.com

GROUNDSWELL OF BROOKLYN PARENTS FROM BROWNSVILLE TO CARROLL GARDENS REFUSE STATE TESTS...

  1. NYSYT calls for end to field tests; supports districts opting out 5/30/14


  1. NY leaders unveil terrible, horrible, no good, very bad Common Core test results 8/9/13

Under Common Core testing,...

... in Buffalo, 11 of them “had zero children meeting the proficient standard,” according to the News.

Buffalo Superintendent Pamela Brown ...identified a number of areas for improvement: more teacher training, extended school days for students, more after-school programs, and purchasing new Common Core instructional materials...  Those might be good ideas, but they all require money – something Buffalo schools don’t have. The district is projecting a deficit of $51 million for the upcoming school year.

  1. N.Y. Unwrapping of CC test 5/3/13

-”... But there is little that speaks to the experience of kids who live in New York City and other urban areas—nothing about museum-going or hip-hop culture, riding subways or buses, living in apartment buildings. Of course, city kids should be exposed to readings about nature and the outdoors, just as rural kids should be expected to read and understand texts about the urban experience...

  1. Peg Robertson: Be Reasonable? First, Do No Harm!  9/1/14 Peg Robertson, a mother and teacher, responds to those who tell the Lee County Board of Education to be reasonable and to rescind their historic vote to opt out of testing. Peg wants them to stand strong and defend the children. She is one of the founders of United Opt Out.


  1. New Mexico Parents Blast Standardized Exam Exam Overkill

  2. Parents Explain: "Why We Are Opting Out"

  3. Why This Chicago Mom Opted Out 11/16/14

  4. Amy Prime Explains Why She Opted Her Children Out of State Tests in Iowa

  5. Growing Number of Parents Want Students to Opt Out of High-Stakes State Tests 3/26/14

  6. Welcome to The Opt Out of Standardized Tests Site! This site was created to collect and share information on state by state rules and experiences related to opting out of standardized tests. This is an open community for any parent, student, or educator interested in finding or sharing opt out information, irrespective of personal decisions regarding political party, religion, or choice of public or non public education. Please note, that much of the information herein is specific to school children. If you homeschool, please be aware of the rules and laws in your state and we hope you will share here.

  7. Chicago: More Parents and Teachers Opt Out of Tests 3/1/14

Teachers at 2nd Chicago school bravely boycott State ISAT tests
Also 1,000 parents in 57 schools opt out

  1. Five-Year-Olds Filling in Bubbles: A School Opts Out10/14/13

  2. Parents in New York: Say NO to Field Tests!

5/30/14

  1. FairTest: Computer Test Failures Are Common 4/22/14 “Earlier this month, the statewide testing systems in Kansas and Oklahoma both crashed. Last year, technical problems disrupted computerized exams in Indiana, Kentucky, Minnesota, Ohio and Oklahoma. In the recent past, new, automated testing programs collapsed in Oregon and Wyoming, requiring administration of replacement, pencil-and-paper versions.”
                                            ***********

My granddaughter in fifth grade thought it was unfair to have to use the computer to respond to test questions. “Some children type faster - some have a problem using the computer to type their responses.”      Mary D.


  1. Talking About This Year's Common Core Tests 4/1/14

Florida

  1. Opt-out Palm Beach! 1/24/15 “...”Parent and teacher Andy Goldstein here makes an impassioned plea to the local school board: Stop the madness! Opt out of the state tests! Our children can’t wait! Restore the joy of learning! Opt out! Opt out!

Many other videos are found on this site speaking out against high stakes testing.

  1. Florida Teacher Donates His Bonus to NPE to Fight Testing Craze by dianeravitch 3/27/14

Kevin Strang, a high school music teacher in Orange County, Florida, won an $810.87 bonus for teaching in an A-rated school. He is donating his bonus to the Network for Public Education to fight high-stakes testing, school grading, merit pay, and the other corporate reforms that treat teachers as donkeys in need of carrots and sticks.

Florida Student Refuses to Retake Florida Exit Exam, Endorses Alternative Graduation Routes in School Board Testimony

  1. David Ross, his wife and daughter all teachig at Broward County FL high school  recently refused to administer the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT).

  2. Florida DOE to Districts: Don’t Dare to Opt Out of State Tests 9/3/14

  3. Pearson Crashes in Florida During State Testing 4/22/14

  4. Fed-up student won’t retake FCAT reading11/7/14

  5. Florida Teacher Donates $400 Bonus to NPE to Fight VAM and Ither Failed Reforms! 4/12/14

“...I am also the lead plaintiff in Florida Education Association/NEA's lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of VAM....”


  1. Jason Stanford: Texas Battles the Testing  Vampire 4/2/14          As Elliott Eisner once said,


“A Strong Right-Wing Voice Joins the Chorus: Revolt Against the Tyranny of Standardized Testing”3/26/14 Diane Ravitch

  1. Our Education Spring Goes National: Report from Fairtest by dianeravitch 3/26/14

Say no to high-stakes testing!

Say no to data mining of your children ,

Say no to corporate reform!

Say no to those who want to monetize our children!

Here is a report from Bob Schaeffer of Fairtest:

Anyone who still believes that the resistance to testing misuse and overuse is confined to a few big cities and "liberal" activists, should click through this week's news clips. In fact, testing protests are spreading across "deep red" states" such as Alaska, Tennessee, Texas and Utah. And "conservative" commentators are speaking out against standardized exam overkill.

  1. Finland's Only High-Stakes Standardized Test 3/24/14

  2. Bob Schaeffer, Public Education Director FairTest: National Center for Fair & Open Testing

Tacoma, Washington

  1. Tacoma-area parents join movement to opt kids out of testing 1/24/15

  2. These Seattle Teachers Boycotted Standardized Testing—and Sparked a Nationwide Movement


Fairtest: The Uprising Against High-Stakes Tests  Grows 2/7/15

from 22 states as well as Washington, DC

Email Congress Now to Demand Less Federal Testing, End to High-Stakes

43 researched articles addressing the High-Stakes testing are listed

  1. Educational Standards and the Problem of Error (Need to download the PDF file)Noel Wilson School of Education The Flinders University of South Australia

  2. Pros and Cons of Standardized Testing/ the Onion/ 5/11/15

PROS

  1. Every student measured against same narrow, irrelevant set of standards

  2. Holds teachers personally accountable for success of large, monolithic testing organizations

  3. Western tradition of critical thinking best embodied in bubble-sheet format

  4. Keeps students quiet for upwards of 90 minutes

  5. Repeated testing carefully develops teachers’ cheating skills

  6. Only biased against kids who couldn’t afford college anyway

  7. Data. More data.

CONS

  1. There are easier ways to measure parents’ income

  2. Takes up time that could be used to teach toward additional standardized tests

  3. Standardized test–scoring machines kill and maim more than 200 workers annually

  4. Allows U.S. students to be compared with those of other developed nations

  5. Fails to measure attractiveness, which will have far greater impact on future success or failure

  6. Students may in fact become too prepared for future

  7. Probably could be more profitable



  1. The Side Effects of Standardized Testing

Teacher Net By Howard Seeman, Ph.D.

Scientifically Tested Tests

        by SUSAN ENGEL Published: September 19, 2010 New Marlborough, Mass.  “...

Finally, we don’t need to exhaustively track every child every year in order to monitor how schools are doing. Just as researchers often use a randomly selected group to provide a window onto the larger population, we could test only carefully gathered representative samples from all the classes within a few grades. We would still get an empirical snapshot of a school, while freeing up students and teachers to do more meaningful work.

By shifting our assessment techniques, we would learn more of what we really need to know about how children, teachers and schools are doing. And testing could be returned to its rightful place as one tool among many for improving schools, rather than serving as a weapon that degrades the experience for teachers and students alike.

Susan Engel is a senior lecturer in psychology and the director of the teaching program at Williams College.

Daniel Dawer in Standardized Testing Is Completely Out of Controll, reports the following: It was estimated that by the time students graduate from a public school in Texas, they will have spent 34 school days taking a standardized test. In Tenn, 32 days, Calif. 28, and in Oklahoma, 25. That was before the CC was adopted in 45 states.

Common Core is requiring pre and post test in reading, math, foreign languages, economics, the arts, and physical ed. Testing starts in kindergarten!  As Daniel Dawer states, that this excessive testing will poison students’ attitudes towards education and schooling.

Daniel Dawer points out that the tests are designed by testing companies, not teachers. Alternatives to standardized testing should be assessing students’ creativity, problem-solving ability, and higher-order thinking skills without taking time from the curriculum for test preps.

“Who ever controls the testing controls the curriculum.
If the tests are flawed the curriculum is flawed.”
“I believe in standardizing automobiles. I do not believe in standardizing human beings. Standardization is a great peril which threatens American culture.”
—— Albert Einstein, Saturday Evening Post interview,

Why Does the U.S. Test More Often and Earlier than Any High-Performing Nation?by dianeravitch 9/2/14
Education policymakers in the U.S. seem to think that more tests will produce higher achievement, but there is no evidence for this assumption. As this article from the Center on International Education Benchmarking shows, the U.S. tests more frequently than any of the world's high-performing nations...”

FAIRTEST: The Weekly Round-Up on Resistance to Testing 7/24/14  From Calif., Conn., Florida, Louisiana, NJ, NY, NC, Ohio, Ok, SC.Virginia, Wis., Utah,  to Washington State...
As Dr. Ravitch said, “THIS IS HUGE!!! No Testing at This School! Parents Say NO! 10/21/13 “Almost everyone agrees that high-stakes testing for little children is a huge mistake. The parents not only wrote their elected officials, they took direct action.”
Teacher: No Time For Teaching, Only Testing 7/12/14  dianeravitch
“This teacher laments the explosion of testing in school, which has reduced or eliminated time for play, recess, and activities. This is the brave new world of Common Core and PARCC:
‘The Common Core and PARCC will ruin education as we know it..And, of course, it is all part of the overall plan....                                                           "It's a shame that Pearson has to take away the childhood of our children, so they can earn their millions. I teach children. They are children. They love to run, play, draw, make faces, jump up and down, play tag, tease each other, hide, run around, make jokes, and enjoy being a child. With all of these hours of testing, I will not have time to teach anymore. The test preparation for a 2.5 hour test was bad enough, but this is totally ridiculous. Then, take the time to read over the Common Core and you will laugh to yourself. In Language Arts, they will be teaching adverbs to 3rd graders, with not much more emphasis on it after that. I think they know the Common Core will be the bullet that finally kills all public education in the U.S. The kids will not score well on this silly curriculum, which will be recorded on the teacher's evaluation . . .and teachers will be let go. Yes, it's all a part of the sad overall plan. It's evident that the Common Core was created by people who knew very little about the developmental stages of our children. No one ever mentions Piaget anymore. It's all so sad. But, Sasha and Alieah don't have to follow these communist socialist education rules. Do they?’"
Utah: AIR’s Absurdly Long Common Core Tests 7/5/14
“...Why should Common Core tests require 8-10 hours? Does anyone know? Why should third graders, 8 or 9 year-old children, be expected to sit for eight hours of testing? This is nuts! ... This from a teacher in Utah, responding to a post called "Good Riddance to Common Core Tests." Let the parents know. They recognize child abuse...”
Good Riddance to the Common Core Tests! 7/3/14
Students in Ipswich, Mass., Request Payment for Taking Field Tests6/7/14
“Not Interested in Being #1:” Shanghai May Ditch PISA 5/25/14
...”One of the shortfalls of Shanghai education masked by its top PISA ranking, Mr. Yi, pointed out, is excessive amount of homework, according to the story. For example, teachers in Shanghai spend 2 to 5 hours designing, reviewing, analyzing, and discussing homework assignment every day. “Over half of the students spend more than one hour on school work after school [every day]; Teachers’ estimate of homework load is much lower than actual experiences of students and parents; Although the homework is not particularly difficult, much of it is mechanical and repetitive tasks that take lots of time; Furthermore, our teachers are more used to mark the answers as ‘right’ or ‘wrong,’ while students are hoping their teachers can help them open their minds and point out their problems.”
“...“Homework is only one of the elements that supports student development,” an unnamed PISA official told Xinmin Wanbao. “Their skills and qualities should also be acquired from a variety of activities such as play, online activities, and games instead of merely completing academic assignments or extending homework time.”
“...“Shanghai will not participate in PISA forever,” “... But it is clear that Shanghai officials have acknowledged that PISA does not give them what they want. Its narrow definition of education quality as test scores obscures other aspects of education that are much more important....”
Student Stress, the Common Core, and Powerful Strategies for Change   Here is one reply to that webinar below from the state of Illinois, with the author consenting to post her response, as follows:
 
 After 34 years as a School Psychologist, I have never seen such a rampant proliferation of foreboding, depression, anxiety, and confusion among both staff and students in response to an educational event.
Teachers are weeping in my office, students are “burned out and apprehensive” over the constant evaluation structure, and principals are always demanding more-their evaluations depend on excellent scores. In essence, our school has become a “pressure cooker”, and I’m awaiting the inevitable explosion.  Sadly, our special education students are feeling the brunt of this “one-size fits all model”, and are failing miserably while attempting to achieve grade levels standards.
Commonsense, logic, and sound curricular practices have become foreign to this insidious process.
As a veteran staff member, I find myself attempting to put out fires, and lend support and guidance whenever possible.  The Common Core, as it’s constituted, is a national disgrace.
Dr. Sandra Folgers,  NCSP Psychologist,Beach Elementary School 
Schneider: Big Surprise (Not): Pearson Wins PARCC Contract5/3/14
"CCSS was tailor-made for Pearson. It is quite the love story.
"Pearson is one-stop CCSS shopping, from curriculum, to assessments, to evaluation of teacher training… and Bill Gates has even paid Pearson’s nonprofit to assist with the endeavor.
"Gates’ assistance is apparently paying off; on May 2, 2014, Pearson “landed a major contract… of unprecedented scale” with another nonprofit (a popular way to set up reformer shop), the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC)."
These Seattle Teachers Boycotted Standardized Testing - and Sparked a Nationwide Movement 3/19/14
“...a Florida teacher had ordered them a stack of hot pizzas, as a gesture of solidarity.... It’s something that educators all over see as their struggle too....Parents, students, and teachers all over the country soon would join the “Education Spring” revolt. As the number of government-mandated tests multiplies, anger is mounting over wasted school hours, “teaching to the test,” a shrinking focus on the arts, demoralized students, and perceptions that teachers are being unjustly blamed for deeply rooted socioeconomic problems... Fifth-graders are the hardest-hit, with testing time ballooning from 170 minutes in 2010 to 540 minutes in 2013.
“This was the crux: It was just immoral to rob the students of that [classroom] time,”
Mark Naison, a professor at Fordham University in New York City, estimates that parents of about 10,000 students across the state joined the “opt-out” movement in April, refusing to submit their youth to Common Core tests. “Probably the largest test revolt in modern American history,” he said.
Among the requirements: using test results to evaluate teachers. Now many states are rethinking their commitment to Common Core. Eight states have reversed, suspended, or significantly delayed implementation. Legislatures in other states continue to debate the issues...
An International Day of Action on May Day brought support from teachers and parents in Japan, Australia, and the United Kingdom, he said...
Rather than take standardized tests, students do in-depth research and papers; learn to think, problem-solve, and critique; and orally present their projects. He says this approach not only provides more effective student assessment, but also emphasizes critical-thinking skills over rote learning...

The teacher in Florida who sent hot pizzas to the teachers in Seattle in support of their boycotting Standardized Testing, hopefully has ignited a nationwide movement: solidarity. The dock workers in Poland gave us an example of how to fight evil: unite. In solidarity teachers across America must unite to bring down the Common Core and its high stakes testing. The dock workers fought Communism; we are fighting the Common Core. Both have much in common.                          
This is the Man Behind the Curtain Who Loves Standardized Testing 
 Read how:We have become a society that is destroying our children. ...Teachers’ fear of their own job performance ratings has allowed them to become indoctrinated into a system that uses them to bully and punish children with boring mind numbing work and no creative freedom to grow independently and develop their own identity. Teachers are not connecting to children’s emotional needs. School boards and community leaders have become fearful of challenging the status quo and are impotent and in denial. They are not connecting to children’s most basic developmental needs. Government and business leaders have become enmeshed and greedy, and more concerned with their self interests. They are not connecting to children’s needs. We are a country living in fear, and the greatest price is being paid by our children.
The “man behind the curtain” represents the “weak, impotent, callous, greedy immature leaders” who lust for power and control. ...
But, we cannot afford to be idle bystanders any longer and listen to the “man behind the curtain”...Read on
FairTest Reports Growing Movement Against Excessive Testing 3/12/14
“Across the nation, parents and teachers are resisting the testing mania imposed by the U.S. Department of Education and Congress. It is a good time to remember that education is not mentioned in the Constitution, and that it is traditionally considered a state and local function. The federal government provides only 10% of the funding.
Here is FairTest's roundup of the latest resistance to high-stakes testing:...” Dr. Ravitch
The list is too long to post here. Please click on the link above to learn how wide spread the rebellion has become.
Teacher Tom: This Is Child Abuse 2/17/14
This must be nipped in the bud! Where are our activists? When are we going to march on Washington?
Save Us from the SAT by Finney Boylan 4/16/14
“The SAT is a mind-numbing, stress-inducing ritual of torture. The College Board can change the test all it likes, but no single exam, given on a single day, should determine anyone’s fate. The fact that we have been using this test to perform exactly this function for generations now is a national scandal. ...The problems with the test are well known. It measures memorization, not intelligence.
Rhode Island Battling over NECAP3/1/14
How Test-Based Reform Will Ruin Lives and Our Society 3/1/14
Secrets of Test Success at Success Academy
3/2/14 ...”But we do devote an extraordinary amount of resources to them each year, arguably at the expense of actual learning. The justification I've heard is that these tests can determine our kids' futures and we owe it to them to make sure they're prepared. Obviously we as an organization are judged by them as well, so we make it a priority. What I find most disturbing is that we claim that the test scores are a result of our excellent curriculum...no mention of test prep. If we have faith in the curriculum, why not allow us to teach it and skip the test prep?...”
Momma Bears of Tennessee Salute a Valiant Teacher 2/27/14
“Who imposed all this testing on these kids? They know:
You can thank these people for this asinine TVAAS evaluation system:
TN Board of Education (appointed by Gov. Haslam)
TN Commissioner Kevin Huffman (appointed by Gov. Haslam)
Governor Haslam (who sent his kids to private schools that didn't excessively test or rate teachers by test scores)
William Sanders (the statistician who came up with this awful system to rate agricultural growth and somehow it is now it is being used to abuse teachers)
The Mamma Bears know that all this testing doesn't help their children.
They know that it helps Pearson!
If their child fails, guess what they get? More testing!
These are smart Mamma Bears. They will be there after the name Bill Haslam and Kevin Huffman are long forgotten.”
Jason Stanford: Sandy Kress Registers to Lobby for Amplify and Pre-K Testing 2/17/14...!!!
Jason Stanford, intrepid Texas journalist, noticed that Sandy Kress registered to lobby for Rupert Murdoch's Amplify, the big for-profit run by Joel Klein (and joined recently by ex-New Jersey Commissioner Chris Cerf).
Kress was the architect of No Child Left Behind and lobbies in Texas for Pearson. He persuaded the Texas legislature to commit nearly $500 million to Pearson for a five-year contract (a five-year contract in New York with Pearson cost "only" $32 million; Texas must get all the best questions and answers).
But the new big-bucks frontier is pre-K assessment.
"Making a 4-year-old take a high-stakes test at an age when it’s hard to make them take a nap sounds like heaping child abuse on top of a failed educational theory. But at least we can all rest assured that Kress has figured out a way to get his cut of the early-education bonanza. It’s time we saw schools as a place to create opportunities for children, not profiteers."
Authors Tell President Obama: Too Much Standardized Testing Kills Imagination
“120+ CHILDREN’S BOOK AUTHORS AND ILLUSTRATORS TELL PRES. OBAMA,
“WE ARE ALARMED AT NEGATIVE IMPACTS OF EXCESSIVE SCHOOL TESTING”
SIGNERS INCLUDE MAYA ANGELOU, JUDY BLUME, JULES FEIFFER, DONALD CREWS SAY POLICIES UNDERMINE “CHILDREN’S LOVE OF READING AND LITERATURE”
More than 120 leading authors and illustrators of books for children, including several national award winners, are calling on President Obama to “change the way we assess learning so that schools nurture creativity, exploration, and a love of literature....”
“All children must have the freedom to grow, to evolve, to develop,” explained acclaimed poet Maya Angelou, who spoke at President Obama's inauguration. “We parents, authors, illustrators are standing up for our children. We desperately need you and your administration to stand with us.”
The authors’ and illustrators’ letter continued, “We are alarmed at the negative impact of excessive school testing mandates, including your administration’s own initiatives, on children’s love of reading and literature. Recent policy changes by your Administration have not lowered the stakes. On the contrary, requirements to evaluate teachers on student test scores impose more standardized exams and crowd out exploration.”
Signers of a “Public Letter on Standardized Testing from Authors and Illustrators of Books for Children and Youth” include such other notables as Alma Flor Ada, Judy Blume, Jules Feiffer, and Donald Crews, as well as National Book Award winners Kathryn Erskine and Phillip Hoose.”
NCLB crashed and burned. When will we ever learn?
BY VALERIE STRAUSS February 3 at 5:30 pm
And the cost!!!!!Texas: “where Pearson has an eye-popping $462-million testing contract...”  And Texas isn’t even a state that has adopted the Common Core!!!!!!!
Testing in Texas: The True Story of a Professor, Angry Moms, and Legislators Who Listened 4/6/14
Texas: Test Scores Flat, Where Is That Bush “Miracle”?6/10/14
Texas' STAAR scores show little improvement for third year
Gaps in Texas STAAR exam scores widen among races, income levels
NC: Third-Graders Will Take 36 New Tests to Prepare for Fourth Grade 1/10/14 AS Dr. Ravitch states: ...”you don’t fattne a pig by weighing it.
What Went Wrong with Common Core Testing in Nashua, New Hampshire
 Teachers take the test and find countless problems such as *The idea of the best answer and then there being 2 or more good and appropriate answers. It felt like a trick.”

The All-New Online Common Core PARCC Tests: Not So New After All 2/4/14

How Many Children Will We Sacrifice Before We Wake Up? 11/19/13
“The following comment came in response to a post about what is happening to early childhood education, about the federal government's demand that children in kindergarten be tested to see if they are on track to be college-and-career ready in compliance with the Common Core:
Dear All, I just read this op ed and ALL the comments! With all we know (research-based, data rich science) about child development and how children at this age learn, how can we allow this to happen? Why are top officials ignoring this research and data? ... We must protest before we lose another generation of children to stupidity in the form of the Common Core!”
NY teacher says:
November 9, 2013 at 10:43 am
“Send lawyers, guns, and money – the tests have hit the fan”
Teaching The Test: The Coming Common Core Disaster September 30, 2013 by Bob Livingston 
...”Stanford University professor James Milgram, the only mathematician on the validation panel, concluded that the Common Core math scheme would place American students two years behind their peers in other high-achieving countries. In protest, Milgram refused to sign off on the standards
Test Score DrivenEducation Ignores Students Jeff Bryant 12/28/13
Idaho Teacher: We Have a Testing Crisis via Diane Ravitch 2/8/14 Travis Manning, teaches high school English in Idaho.
“We have reached a testing crisis in Idaho and Common Core hasn’t helped. As a current high school English teacher, I know. We are over-testing children, including the new 8-hour Common Core test: the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC).
In high school alone we give students the PSAT, SAT, IELA, PLAN, ACT, pre- and post-tests, end-of-semester exams, ASVAB, Science ISAT, AP tests, SBAC, PLATO, benchmarks, Career Information System (CIS) and sometimes the NAEP. Not all students take every test every year, but the testing process disrupts the entire school calendar, regardless. Testing burns weeks of instructional time, clogs up school computer labs, and costs millions. Special education students are given even more tests, often with accommodations to take as much time as they need, soaking up weeks more in a teacher’s curriculum calendar...”
Protecting Children From Toxic Stress- NYTimes David Bronstein 10/30/13
Chronic Stress Is Not Good for Children
by dianeravitch 11/17/13    A mother writes:
“Environments of chronic stress are not exclusive to Title I schools in Texas. My daughter attends 3rd grade an Exemplary school in a university area of highly educated and involved parents. We are beginning to observe the over emphasis on rewarding performance, fear of making mistakes, perfectionism, and a lack of nurturing social and emotional development. Work is mostly independent and repetitive rote memorization of math facts and vocabulary. In fact, there is very little social interaction among students and little attachment to teacher, who is very businesslike and impatient. My daughter has developed chronic anxiety and sleep problems, chronic stomach aches and constipation. Her teacher uses statements like, “Whoever does best on this practice test I will take it to show the principal?” If she doesn’t make perfect scores she worries. The principal’s STAAR goal this year is 100% on math, as if 98% last year wasn’t good enough. Would you like to be the student who causes this school to miss the mark?
We will not have healthy school environments in elementary school until we get rid of the statewide testing and measure children by healthy developmental standards.”
The Case Against High Stakes Testing  FairTest
Will the Reformers Kill Common Core? by dianerav
Jeff Bryant at the Education Opportunity Network is not a critic of Common Core. He is a thoughtful observer.
In this brilliant post, he shows that the worst enemies of Common Core are its advocates.
Why are kindergarten children given standardized tests? Why are teachers compelled to follow scripted curricula? Why are teachers and parents' voices disregarded? Why the rush? Why the gloating over lower test scores?
None of this makes any sense. Friends of Common Core need to step back, calm down, listen to teachers, think of ways to make revisions, stop the testing until there has been adequate professional development, sufficient resources, time for children to learn the skills that will be tested, and a curriculum to go with the testing.
Who will pay for the new technology for the testing? Who will grade the essays? Temps from Craig's List? Testing companies in India? Counters?
the needed changes and planning and implementation won't take one year. It will probably take three. Maybe five.
Reformers, cool your jets. Do it right or don't do it at all.
Last fall :The state commissioner predicted a 30-37% fall in scores last fall, and lo and behold, there was a 30-37% fall in scores.

FairTest Fact Sheet About Common Core Tests
FairTest: Common Core Tests Are Same Old Standardized Tests
New NY Scores Prompt Increased Interest in Opting Out of Next State Tests   by dianerav
Long Island's Newsday has a story about growing interest by parents in opting out of state testing.
It says that the terrible scores will increase the number of parents who don't let the schools test their children.
William Johnson, the superintendent of Rockville Center district, says the scores are essentially useless.
They dropped so far for so many students that he can't make any sense of them...
The state should keep its hands off him and let him learn with the natural joy that he brings to everything he does.
We have reached a point where it is time to say no. And mean it.
FYI New York StateTestPrep
Montgomery county Measuring “Hope”to help Improve Academic Success in Schools Washington Post 7/20/13
End of Jeb Bush Miracle? Florida Grades Collapse

Anthony Cody: Lessons from the NY Test Debacle

http://dianeravitch.net/2014/09/02/why-does-the-u-s-test-more-often-and-earlier-than-any-high-performing-nation/http://dianeravitch.net/2014/09/02/why-does-the-u-s-test-more-often-and-earlier-than-any-high-performing-nation/http://dianeravitch.net/author/dianerav/http://www.ncee.org/2014/04/statistic-of-the-month-when-high-performing-countries-test-students/http://dianeravitch.net/2014/07/24/fairtest-the-weekly-round-up-on-resistance-to-testing/http://dianeravitch.net/2013/10/22/no-testing-at-this-school-parents-say-no/http://dianeravitch.net/2013/10/22/no-testing-at-this-school-parents-say-no/http://dianeravitch.net/2014/07/12/teacher-no-time-for-teaching-only-testing/http://dianeravitch.net/author/dianerav/http://dianeravitch.net/2014/07/05/utah-airs-absurdly-long-common-core-tests/http://dianeravitch.net/2014/07/03/politico-plans-for-the-federal-tests-for-common-core-are-falling-apart/http://dianeravitch.net/2014/07/03/politico-plans-for-the-federal-tests-for-common-core-are-falling-apart/http://dianeravitch.net/2014/06/07/students-in-ipswich-mass-request-payment-for-taking-field-tests/http://dianeravitch.net/2014/06/07/students-in-ipswich-mass-request-payment-for-taking-field-tests/http://cambiumtechnology.wordpress.com/kurzweil-webinar-resources/student-stress-the-common-core-and-powerful-strategies-for-change/http://cambiumtechnology.wordpress.com/kurzweil-webinar-resources/student-stress-the-common-core-and-powerful-strategies-for-change/http://dianeravitch.net/2014/05/03/schneider-big-surprise-not-pearson-wins-parcc-contract/http://dianeravitch.net/2014/05/03/schneider-big-surprise-not-pearson-wins-parcc-contract/http://truth-out.org/news/item/22539-these-seattle-teachers-boycotted-standardized-testing-and-sparked-a-nationwide-movementhttp://truth-out.org/news/item/22539-these-seattle-teachers-boycotted-standardized-testing-and-sparked-a-nationwide-movementhttp://dianeravitch.net/2014/03/10/this-is-the-man-behind-the-curtain-who-loves-standardized-testing/http://dianeravitch.net/2014/03/10/this-is-the-man-behind-the-curtain-who-loves-standardized-testing/http://dianeravitch.net/2014/03/12/fairtest-reports-growing-movement-against-excessive-testing/http://dianeravitch.net/2014/03/12/fairtest-reports-growing-movement-against-excessive-testing/http://teachertomsblog.blogspot.com/2014/02/this-is-child-abuse.htmlhttp://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/07/opinion/save-us-from-the-sat.html?ref=opinion&_r=1http://dianeravitch.net/2014/03/01/rhode-island-battling-over-necap/http://dianeravitch.net/2014/03/01/how-test-based-reform-will-ruin-lives-and-our-society/http://dianeravitch.net/2014/03/02/secrets-of-test-success-at-success-academy/http://dianeravitch.net/2014/02/27/momma-bears-of-tennessee-salute-a-valiant-teacher/http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Sanders_(statistician)http://dianeravitch.net/2014/02/17/jason-stanford-sandy-kress-registers-to-lobby-for-amplify-and-pre-k-testing/http://dianeravitch.net/2014/02/17/jason-stanford-sandy-kress-registers-to-lobby-for-amplify-and-pre-k-testing/http://dianeravitch.net/2013/10/23/authors-tell-president-obama-too-much-standardized-testing-kills-imagination/http://dianeravitch.net/2013/10/23/authors-tell-president-obama-too-much-standardized-testing-kills-imagination/http://www.washingtonpost.com/valerie-strauss/2011/03/07/ABZrToO_page.htmlhttp://www.texastribune.org/2013/07/16/state-auditor-finds-testing-contract-oversight-lac/http://www.texastribune.org/2013/07/16/state-auditor-finds-testing-contract-oversight-lac/http://dianeravitch.net/2014/04/06/testing-in-texas-the-true-story-of-a-professor-angry-moms-and-legislato-rs-wholistened/http://dianeravitch.net/2014/04/06/testing-in-texas-the-true-story-of-a-professor-angry-moms-and-legislato-rs-wholistened/http://dianeravitch.net/2014/06/10/texas-test-scores-flat-where-is-that-bush-miracle/http://www.dallasnews.com/news/local-news/20140529-texas-staar-scores-show-little-improvement-for-third-year.ecehttp://www.dallasnews.com/news/local-news/20140529-texas-staar-scores-show-little-improvement-for-third-year.ecehttp://www.dallasnews.com/news/education/headlines/20140608-gaps-in-texas-exam-scores-widen-among-races-income-levels.ecehttp://www.newsobserver.com/2014/01/09/3519784/wake-to-give-more-tests-to-third.htmlhttp://www.newsobserver.com/2014/01/09/3519784/wake-to-give-more-tests-to-third.htmlhttp://dianeravitch.net/2014/02/10/what-went-wrong-with-common-core-testing-in-nashua-new-hampshire/http://dianeravitch.net/2014/02/10/what-went-wrong-with-common-core-testing-in-nashua-new-hampshire/http://dianeravitch.net/2014/02/04/the-all-new-online-common-core-parcc-tests-not-so-new-after-all/http://dianeravitch.net/2014/02/04/the-all-new-online-common-core-parcc-tests-not-so-new-after-all/http://dianeravitch.net/2013/11/09/how-many-children-will-we-sacrifice-before-we-wake-up/http://dianeravitch.net/2013/11/09/how-many-children-will-we-sacrifice-before-we-wake-up/comment-page-1/#comment-358791http://personalliberty.com/author/boblivingstonpl/http://michellemalkin.com/2013/01/23/rotten-to-the-core-obamas-war-on-academic-standards-part-1/http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/20896http://dianeravitch.net/2014/02/08/idaho-teacher-we-have-a-testing-crisis/http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/10/30/protecting-children-from-toxic-stress/?emc=edit_tnt_20131030&tntemail0=y&_r=0http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/10/30/protecting-children-from-toxic-stress/?emc=edit_tnt_20131030&tntemail0=y&_r=0http://dianeravitch.net/2013/11/17/chronic-stress-is-not-good-for-children/http://dianeravitch.net/author/dianerav/http://www.fairtest.org/arn/caseagainst.htmlhttp://dianeravitch.net/2013/10/16/will-the-reformers-kill-common-core/http://dianeravitch.net/author/dianerav/http://educationopportunitynetwork.org/will-education-reform-kill-the-common-core/http://dianeravitch.net/2013/09/05/fairtest-fact-sheet-about-common-core-tests/http://dianeravitch.net/2013/09/05/fairtest-common-core-tests-are-same-old-standardized-tests/http://dianeravitch.net/2013/08/10/new-ny-scores-prompt-increased-interest-in-opting-out-of-next-state-tests/http://dianeravitch.net/2013/08/10/new-ny-scores-prompt-increased-interest-in-opting-out-of-next-state-tests/http://dianeravitch.net/author/dianerav/http://www.newsday.com/long-island/state-test-score-drop-could-strengthen-parents-opt-out-efforts-1.5859428http://www.studyzone.org/testprep/elak.cfmhttp://livepage.apple.com/http://livepage.apple.com/http://dianeravitch.net/2013/07/26/end-of-jeb-bush-miracle-florida-grades-collapse/http://dianeravitch.net/2013/08/13/anthony-cody-what-i-learned-from-the-ny-test-debacle/shapeimage_5_link_0shapeimage_5_link_1shapeimage_5_link_2shapeimage_5_link_3shapeimage_5_link_4shapeimage_5_link_5shapeimage_5_link_6shapeimage_5_link_7shapeimage_5_link_8shapeimage_5_link_9shapeimage_5_link_10shapeimage_5_link_11shapeimage_5_link_12shapeimage_5_link_13shapeimage_5_link_14shapeimage_5_link_15shapeimage_5_link_16shapeimage_5_link_17shapeimage_5_link_18shapeimage_5_link_19shapeimage_5_link_20shapeimage_5_link_21shapeimage_5_link_22shapeimage_5_link_23shapeimage_5_link_24shapeimage_5_link_25shapeimage_5_link_26shapeimage_5_link_27shapeimage_5_link_28shapeimage_5_link_29shapeimage_5_link_30shapeimage_5_link_31shapeimage_5_link_32shapeimage_5_link_33shapeimage_5_link_34shapeimage_5_link_35shapeimage_5_link_36shapeimage_5_link_37shapeimage_5_link_38shapeimage_5_link_39shapeimage_5_link_40shapeimage_5_link_41shapeimage_5_link_42shapeimage_5_link_43shapeimage_5_link_44shapeimage_5_link_45shapeimage_5_link_46shapeimage_5_link_47shapeimage_5_link_48shapeimage_5_link_49shapeimage_5_link_50shapeimage_5_link_51shapeimage_5_link_52shapeimage_5_link_53shapeimage_5_link_54shapeimage_5_link_55shapeimage_5_link_56shapeimage_5_link_57shapeimage_5_link_58shapeimage_5_link_59shapeimage_5_link_60shapeimage_5_link_61shapeimage_5_link_62shapeimage_5_link_63shapeimage_5_link_64shapeimage_5_link_65shapeimage_5_link_66shapeimage_5_link_67shapeimage_5_link_68shapeimage_5_link_69shapeimage_5_link_70shapeimage_5_link_71shapeimage_5_link_72shapeimage_5_link_73shapeimage_5_link_74

David Di Gregorio’s comment on Diane Ravitch’s blog speaking out against high stakes testing 12/28/14:


Alfie Kohn in his article in Education Week 9/27/2000 Standardized Testing and Its Victims- before the Common Core was imposed on the schools.

Fact 1 Our children are tested to an extent that is unprecedented in our history and unparalleled anywhere else in the world. 

Fact 2. Noninstructional factors explain most of the variance among test scores when schools or districts are compared. 

Fact 3. Norm-referenced tests were never intended to measure the quality of learning or teaching. 

Fact 4. Standardized-test scores often measure superficial thinking. 

Fact 5. Virtually all specialists condemn the practice of giving standardized tests to children younger than 8 or 9 years old. 

Fact 6. Virtually all relevant experts and organizations condemn the practice of basing important decisions, such as graduation or promotion, on the results of a single test.

Fact 7. The time, energy, and money that are being devoted to preparing students for standardized tests have to come from somewhere.

Fact 8. Many educators are leaving the field because of what is being done to schools in the name of “accountability” and “tougher standards.” 

*The tests may be biased. 

*Guess who can afford better test preparation. 

*Standards aren’t the main ingredient that’s in low supply

*Those allegedly being helped will be driven out. “

edTPA
Reader: What Is Wrong with Cuomo’s Plan to Evaluate Teachers?
by dianeravitch
Reader Jennifer Horowitz writes about Governor Andrew Cuomo's plan to base 50% of teachers' evaluation on state test scores (as opposed to the current 20%):
Here’s what’s INEFFECTIVE about the plan to me:
It doesn’t matter if you have 15 kids or 35.
It doesn’t matter if your students had any books read to them before Kindergarten.
It doesn’t matter if their parents have them do homework or ensure a good night’s sleep.
It doesn’t matter if assessment cut scores are so high that no nation has ever achieved excellent results with expectations that high.
It doesn’t matter if the district provides high quality professional development for the faculty.
It doesn’t matter if the classroom has enough books, not to mention desks, for all the students.
It doesn’t matter how many students learn to be kind, helpful, attentive, resilient or respectful.
It doesn’t matter how many phenomenal pieces of literature or symphonies or theories the teacher has shared with the class.
It doesn’t matter how many children learned the values of voting and debate.
It doesn’t matter if the child or parents value education and care about classroom success.
It doesn’t matter if the state cuts school district budgets so much that dozens or hundreds of faculty members have been let go and programs have been cut to the bare bones.
Teachers should be rated based on how students perform on a test for a few days each year.
What intelligent person would start a career in a profession like that?
Who will be the teachers of tomorrow?
Teacher Educators at CUNY: Why We Support edTPA 6/13/14 

Professional Staff Congress at CUNY Opposes edTPA 6/13/14

 VAM, 
  the new teacher evaluation system
Teacher evaluation 'summit' is hot ticket 5/1/15
New York Education Leaders Denounce Cuomo’s Latest Teacher Evaluation Plan 3/31/15
Cuomo asks for state review of LI teacher evaluations after Newsday analysis 2/22/15
Cuomo Demands Investigation of Long Island Teacher Ratings 2/2215 by dianeravitch
“...Cuomo wants evaluations to count student scores as 50%, instead of the present 40% (only 20% is based on state tests, the other 20% on local measures
For some reason, Cuomo is determined to find some teachers he can fire. He is certain--despite evidence to the contrary--that low scores are caused by teachers.
He must have had terrible law school professors. There have been numerous reports that he failed the bar exam four times. If this is true, I hope he sued his law school for hiring ineffective professors.”
Feds Tell Texas to Try Again on Teacher Evaluations 1/23/15

VAMboozled: NY Goes from Bad to Idiotic 1/9/15

Every Teacher in the U.S. Should Post This Statement in His or Her Classroom 11/22/14
High-achieving teacher sues state over evaluation labeling her ‘ineffective’10/31/14
Missouri: Far-Right Puts VAM on State Ballot 11/1/14

Tennessee: Teachers Fired Using VAM Scores of Unknown Validity10/27/14

Effective” Teachers Fleeing Houston Because of Flawed VAM 8/25/14

Kipp Dawson: Don’t Be Fooled By Pittsburgh Teacher Evaluations 6/13/14 ...”am a Pittsburgh teacher and an activist in the Pittsburgh Federation of Teachers (AFT). Let's not let ourselves get pulled into the trap of applauding the results of a wholly flawed system. ...”

Good teaching, poor test scores: Doubt cast on grading teachers by student performance 5/13/14
Another Report Finds VAM is Flawed 5/13/14
...”The majority of the variation in test scores is attributable to factors outside of the teacher’s control such as student and family background, poverty, curriculum, and unmeasured influences."
Seven Houston Teachers Suing Over Flawed VAM Ratings 4/30/14
Good News! TEA Sues Governor, Commissioner re Junk Science VAM 3/21/14

Edward Haertel: Why VAM Fails: The Oak Tree Analogy
Evalutaions based on test scores (50%) and observations (50%)-  thoroughly discredited by research and by years of failed experience. 
Teacher: When Test Scores Measure Nothing 2/16/14
“A teacher writes to challenge the claim that teachers are never fired and to explain why it is wrong to judge teachers by test scores:

Paul Thomas: Why South Carolina Should Not Tie Teacher Evaluations to Test Scores  4/7/14

Peter Greene Knocks the Highly Qualified Teacher Talk Outta the Park 4/1/14

 Tennessee Legislature Rolls Back Test-Based Teacher Evaluation-law 4/25/14

D.C. Teacher Fired All Because of a Typo by Judy Molland 1/3/14
“...  Other countries place almost no emphasis on standardized test scores when evaluating teachers. These countries look at what children do every day in the classroom, rather than what they can repeat parrot-fashion on a piece of paper in test conditions; they also look at peer reviews, students scores overall throughout the year, parent surveys and many other measures.
...Since I teach world languages, which are not considered “core” and therefore not subject to standardized tests, this issue doesn’t affect me directly. Nor does it affect at least 50 percent of public school teachers, whose fields don’t fall into the “core” category.
How ridiculous it that? Haven’t we gone too far with the data?”
Mathematica Study – Value-Added & Teacher Experience:  Vambooled!  11/7/13- a blog by Audrey Amrein-Beardsley about teacher evaluation, accountability, and value-added models (VAMs) “I have to issue a Consumer Alert! While I don’t recommend reading the whole technical report (at over 200 single-spaced pages), the main issues with this piece, again not in terms of its overall purpose but in terms of its value-added felicitations, follow:...”
Why VAM Is a Sham by dianerav 10/1/13
Audrey Amrein-Beardsley of Arizona State University is one of the nation's leading authorities on teacher evaluation. ... “Top Ten Bits of VAMmunition” research-based reasons, ..., that all public school educators should be able to use to defend themselves against VAMs.
1. VAM estimates should not be used to assess teacher effectiveness. The standardized achievement tests on which VAM estimates are based, have always been, and continue to be, developed to assess levels of student achievement and not levels growth in student achievement nor growth in achievement that can be attributed to teacher effectiveness. The tests on which VAM estimates are based (among other issues) were never designed to estimate teachers’ causal effects.
2. VAM estimates are often unreliable. Teachers who should be (more or less) consistently effective are being classified in sometimes highly inconsistent ways over time. A teacher classified as “adding value” has a 25 to 50% chance of being classified as “subtracting value” the following year(s), and vice versa. This sometimes makes the probability of a teacher being identified as effective no different than the flip of a coin.
3. VAM estimates are often invalid. Without adequate reliability, as reliability is a qualifying condition for validity, valid VAM-based interpretations are even more difficult to defend. Likewise, very limited evidence exists to support that teachers who post high- or low-value added scores are effective using at least one other correlated criterion (e.g., teacher observational scores, teacher satisfaction surveys). The correlations being demonstrated across studies are not nearly high enough to support valid interpretation or use.
4. VAM estimates can be biased. Teachers of certain students who are almost never randomly assigned to classrooms have more difficulties demonstrating value-added than their comparably effective peers. Estimates for teachers who teach inordinate proportions of English Language Learners (ELLs), special education students, students who receive free or reduced lunches, and students retained in grade, are more adversely impacted by bias. While bias can present itself in terms of reliability (e.g., when teachers post consistently high or low levels of value-added over time), the illusion of consistency can sometimes be due, rather, to teachers being consistently assigned more homogenous sets of students.
5. Related, VAM estimates are fraught with measurement errors that negate their levels of reliability and validity, and contribute to issues of bias. These errors are caused by inordinate amounts of inaccurate or missing data that cannot be easily replaced or disregarded; variables that cannot be statistically “controlled for;” differential summer learning gains and losses and prior teachers’ residual effects that also cannot be “controlled for;” the effects of teaching in non-traditional, non-isolated, and non-insular classrooms; and the like.
6. VAM estimates are unfair. Issues of fairness arise when test-based indicators and their inference-based uses impact some more than others in consequential ways. With VAMs, only teachers of mathematics and reading/language arts with pre and post-test data in certain grade levels (e.g., grades 3-8) are typically being held accountable. Across the nation, this is leaving approximately 60-70% of teachers, including entire campuses of teachers (e.g., early elementary and high school teachers), as VAM-ineligible.
7. VAM estimates are non-transparent. Estimates must be made transparent in order to be understood, so that they can ultimately be used to “inform” change and progress in “[in]formative” ways. However, the teachers and administrators who are to use VAM estimates accordingly do not typically understand the VAMs or VAM estimates being used to evaluate them, particularly enough so to promote such change.
8. Related, VAM estimates are typically of no informative, formative, or instructional value. No research to date suggests that VAM-use has improved teachers’ instruction or student learning and achievement.
9. VAM estimates are being used inappropriately to make consequential decisions. VAM estimates do not have enough consistency, accuracy, or depth to satisfy that which VAMs are increasingly being tasked, for example, to help make high-stakes decisions about whether teachers receive merit pay, are rewarded/denied tenure, or are retained or inversely terminated. While proponents argue that because of VAMs’ imperfections, VAM estimates should not be used in isolation of other indicators, the fact of the matter is that VAMs are so imperfect they should not be used for much of anything unless largely imperfect decisions are desired.
The unintended consequences of VAM use are continuously going unrecognized, although research suggests they continue to exits. For example, teachers are choosing not to teach certain students, including those who teachers deem as the most likely to hinder their potentials to demonstrate value-added. Principals are stacking classes to make sure certain teachers are more likely to demonstrate “value-added,” or vice versa, to protect or penalize certain teachers, respectively. Teachers are leaving/refusing assignments to grades in which VAM-based estimates matter most, and some teachers are leaving teaching altogether out of discontent or in protest. About the seriousness of these and other unintended consequences, weighed against VAMs’ intended consequences or the lack thereof, proponents and others simply do not seem to give a VAM.

Federal official denies Charleston schools' request to delay controversial new teacher evaluation Diette Courrégé Casey 12/19/13
U.S. Department of Education Rejects Charleston Request to Delay VAM 1/3/13  “"It's time to let go of the grant."- $23.7million
Jersey  Jazzman, “The link between poverty and learning is the most obvious thing in the world. It is ridiculous to pretend that firing a few more teachers based on student test scores or starting a few more charter schools or giving out vouchers or implementing merit pay will overcome the challenges facing a child living in poverty.”
20 YEARS OF TVAAS HAS TOLD US ALMOST NOTHING10/7/13
“Race to the Top placed a $4.45 Billion bet that the way to improve schools was to tie teachers' evaluations to their students' test scores. ...As it happens, the state of Tennessee has been using value-added assessment for 20 years, though the stakes have not been as high as they are now...
It is one of the best, most sensible things you will read on value-added assessment. It is a shame that Tennessee has wasted more than $300 million in search of the magic metric that identifies the "best" teachers. It is ridiculous that Congress and the U.S. Department of Education wasted nearly $5 billion to do the same thing, absent any evidence at all. Just think how any libraries they might have kept open, how many health clinics they could have started, how many early childhood programs initiated, how many class sizes reduced for needy kids.”  Diane 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  1. NAEP Scores for Seniors Are Flat Since 2009 ...5/8/14

My Response:

I am troubled by the published report  about which states scored the lowest percentage of proficient students in reading -Tennessee, Arkansas, and West Virginia.  Why publish such information when the wrong comparisons are being made?

              Five major reasons

    why students cannot meet the standards which the politicians and the corporate world hand out.

Reason #1There is a connection between the reading program these 12th graders  in Tenn. Ark., and WV. had in the primary grades and the level of achievement they have reached in 12th grade. Cunningham and Stanovich (1997) found that first-grade reading achievement strongly predicts 11th-grade reading achievement. These students were  subjected to a reading program that was very problematic: NCLB is anchored in phonics.

Phonics is a skill; readers occasionally use skills but constantly need to use strategies.  Plus, how can phonics be the primary approach to reading when there are so many varied speech patterns around the country? How can the same phonics program be taught throughout the states when only the Midwest uses Standardized English? How can different regions with their various accents and dialects teach phonics when so many sounds are distorted. For example, Massachusetts residents like to leave off the r sound. My son once stopped a Boston police officer for directions. He asked the officer to repeat it five times and finally gave up. My son could not figure out what the officer was saying. He left the officer confused and lost.

Being from the Midwest, I once was a stanch believer in the phonetic approach. It wasn't perfect; e.g., a worksheet centered on the short o sound, pictured dog and log as two example of short o. But even the people from the Standardized  English region pronounce the o in dog and log as aw as in law. But if it follows the rule, dog should have a short sound as in hot. Plus, there are countless words that do not follow the phonetic rule.  It appears to me that students on their own must be using more of the whole word approach in lieu of sounding/blending  or learning words through analogy. Furthermore, students have an unnecessary challenge in trying to learn through phonics - trying to decode words via Standard English and then translate into another language - their accent or dialect language.  Do children from regions with heavy accents and various dialects have to learn to read via the unspoken language like the Chinese? It is like learning another language - Standard English in lieu of what they speak. Contrived and meaningless sentences compound the task.  The year I taught in the inner, inner city gave me a new awareness. Too often my students didn't understand me and I didn't understand them. I still see a student holding his head and stamping his foot saying, " What are you saying?! I don't understand you!" 

In a document published by nonprofit educational center, CELT, entitled  "Center for Expansion of Language and Thinking" addresses the problem of different dialects in the teaching of phonics. "There is a single spelling across dialects that pronounce words very differently. ..  The pretense of a single set of phonics rules is not only confusing, it damages people's chances for school success. Most standardized reading tests have a section on phonics that asks students to match rhyming words or to identify words with similar sounds. …Out-of-context, uninformed phonics instruction is not only confusing; it makes the learning of phonics harder. And when the rules being taught in out-of-context lessons do not match the learner's own dialect, it is that much more confusing and that much harder to learn. Yet another barrier for far too many children! "

“Familiar words can be read as fast as single letters. Under some conditions, words can be identified when the separate letters cannot be. Meaningful context speeds word identification. All phonics can be expected to do is help children get approximate pronunciations.Becoming a Nation of Readers p. 11


I look at the material my four year old grandsons bring home-  letter a day.  A letter a day is the wrong approach. Children shouldn't begin formal instruction - direct teaching in reading until kindergarten at the very earliest. Some may not even be ready then. Phonics should be taught simultaneously with other reading skills but four year olds are not ready for that. A letter a day is a waste of time for pre-schoolers. For the average pre-schooler the letter information will not be carried over into kindergarten. Learning the alphabet needs to be integrated with learning to read; pre-schoolers are too young for formal reading instruction.

Reason #2 The lack of prior knowledge is a very basic problem. Just because students didn't pass the state tests doesn't mean they can't read- they are simply asked to read material that they can’t relate to.  In order to construct meaning the reader must be able to relate to what he/she is reading. Frank Smith, a psycholinguist,  in Comprehension and Learning  maintains that what is behind the eye ball is more important than what is in front- the visual/text.  But instead of building on their prior knowledge, Common Core directs teachers to the practice of "Close Reading." "Closed reading" is contrary to what constitutes good reading instruction. A good teacher bridges the text to the students’ prior knowledge. Repeat: In order to gleam some understanding of a text, the reader must be able to relate to the subject matter in some way. "Closed Reading"  just attacks  students confidence and makes the students more anxious. A good teacher may spend an entire lesson on building background knowledge via a video, pictures, field trip, maps etc.  If an academic text book is on a student's frustration level, the teacher either needs to give the student an easier text which covers the same concepts or read the text to the student. What is the teacher's objective: to develop concepts or is it to develop reading skills. Ordinarily a teacher should be able to accomplish both simultaneously but not if the text is too difficult. Also, Common Core negates the importance of prediction. Being able to predict is an indication that the student understands/comprehends.

How is it possible to construct  a valid national standardized test with so many major regional differences? Is it possible to create a test that is not biased? Pearson Company, a British company whose main office is in England, publishes the tests. Who are the people who construct them?  The British?

Reason #3 The third major problem is stealing learning time away from students. In Finland the students take only one standardized test in their academic career. We are wasting precious student time with all this unnecessary testing and test preparation  . "… test prep and testing absorbed 19 full school days in one district and a month and a half in the other in heavily tested grades."  The best way to increase reading skills is by reading independently.  Instead of giving students time to do extended reading, students have to waste time in test prep and testing. "How much time do school districts spend on standardized testing? This Much "The Answer sheet 7/25/13

It is only through reading that a child can learn to identify new words on the basis of old.  Too often formal instruction in reading doesn't provide enough independent reading. Independent reading at school and at home supports the learning of reading.  Here the parent/caregiver must play a part.

Reason #4  Failure to pass the reading portion of standardized test from first grade on, starts eroding a student's confidence and attacking the student's ego. A defeatist attitude is most difficult to overcome. How many fail the standardized test because of the phonics portion or a lack of confidence? Frank Smith states, "…when an individual is anxious or unsure of himself/herself or has experienced an unhappy  succession of 'failures', his/her behavior exhibits an inevitable consequence: he demands far more information before he makes a decision. His very hesitancy aggravates his difficulties. …The more anxious he is, the less likely he will be to rely on non visual information. …Where the relaxed individual sees order, the tense individual sees visual confusion." The old saying, “Nothing succeeds like success.” That is why Marie Clay’s approach with the emergent reader prevents students from making a mistakes.

Frank Smith purports, "Remedial action with older students who are diagnosed as 'reading problems' may magnify difficulties rather than facilitate fluency. The main need of a student inexperienced in reading is to engage in reading that is easy, interesting, and can relate to. Instead he is likely to get less reading, contrived, meaningless text and more  isolated, meaningless drill. Material that is challenging …rather than easy, raises the anxiety  level so that reading is neither meaningful nor pleasant. The problem of a fifteen-year-old who has difficulty reading may not be insufficiency of instruction, but that his previous years of instruction have made learning to read more difficult. …After ten years of instructional bruising a student may be far more in need of a couple of years …in education convalescence than an aggravation of his injuries."

I maintain that students should never struggle.  Regardless how far behind a student is from what is considered "on level" reading, a teacher must start instruction/reading at the student's instructional level. Easy reading builds up confidence and then the student can begin to make progress. Common Core totally ignores "instructional" level and advocates, at times, giving students text that will be a challenge/struggle- an erroneous mandate.

Smith maintains that reading is essential in order to read. Reading should be made as easy as possible for children.  Instead of drilling phonetic elements and words in isolation, back ground knowledge should be developed so the child can identify with the text. The less the student can relate to the story the more difficult the task of reading.

If the child meets a word he/she does not know he can predict or guess with the help of knowing the sound of the initial letter and what would make sense. Only if the student can relate to the text can the student predict   words and develop higher order thinking skills

Reason #5 My fifth point of concern is the absorbent cost of testing. "Many districts have increased class sizes and reduced services to students. Some leave closed libraries and laid off librarian, social workers, counselors, and psychologists. Many thousands of teachers have lost their jobs…" It boggles my mind how districts can spend millions of dollars on testing material but lay off teachers, close libraries…!!!!!!! Some are even getting rid of art, music, dance, electives, etc. The very activity that could give students a chance to excel, boost their ego, give them confidence is taken away! Oh woe to those who are out to destroy our youth. “With no gym, art class, librarians, or significant science or social studies…"!!!!!!!

School Testing In U.S. Costs $1.7 Billion, But That May Not Be Enough: Report  11/29/12 Huff Post

The Midwestern district spent $600 or more for standardized testing per pupil in grades 3-8;  about $200 per student for grades K-2; from $400 to $600 per student for grades 9-11. The Eastern district spent more than $1,100 annually on testing per student in grades 6-11; around $400 per student in grades 1-2; between $700 and $800 per student for grades 3-5. The Answer sheet 7/25/13

If we gave only one standardized test during the students academic career as they do in Finland, think of all the money that would be available to hire the needed reading specialists for every building. At Risk students should received extra help daily with a reading specialists working in tandem with the classroom teacher- two classes of reading instruction daily. Teachers' assessments should be good enough for the administration and politicians. It has been stated countless times: students are individuals each with their own gifts. Politicians nor the corporate world can standardized them. Can you imagine how boring life would be if every child had the same interests, acted and spoke the same way.

My last concern: What is the purpose of publishing scores; its a form of discrimination.                                                                     Mary DeFalco