Saturday, August 24, 2013
Your child's state test scores are now posted; read this advice first from Tory Frye
Dear Parents and Guardians,
Your child's scores are now available on ARIS Parent Link. For what it is worth, there are a few things that I think we should all do:
1) Ignore the test results and do not tell our children what their "number" is, no matter how high or low;
2) Know that these tests are part of a movement to privatize public education by convincing parents that our children are underperforming, compared with other countries, and a massive restructuring of the public education system is the only thing that will save the future of the US; this would involve higher standards, better teachers (which requires a de-unionized teaching force), more charter schools, vouchers for private schools, and market-based methods to make parents consumers of "public" education; they say that this is needed because of the "new" US economy, where because of economic and labor policies, we have an increasingly bimodal distribution of jobs (you are either a Walmart Greeter or a Scientist, with few solid working- and lower-middle class options left);
3) Recognize that no elite NYC private schools use high stakes standardized tests in this way and that the country that is held up as a model of universal, high quality public education, Finland, also does not use test scores in this way;
4) Know that our state has purposefully set up our children to fail in order to "shock" us into submission and turn on our children's teachers and their unions;
5) Resist the urge to pressure our children's teachers and schools to do better on these tests; this will only totally eliminate the arts, sports, sciences, recess and other activities that have been diminished in the pursuit of high scores and that children desperately need; these are the things that keep some of our most vulnerable children in school;
6) Be aware also that our children's test scores are being given by the state to inBloom, a private company that will store all of children's data in a "cloud" and offer it to other private companies to make more educational "products" that are typically "personalized" and computer-based and designed to further undermine face-to-face instruction, classrooms and human teachers. See here for inBloom: https://www.edsurge.com/inbloom-inc See here for criticisms of it: http://www.classsizematters.org/inbloom_student_data_privacy/
7) Consider opting out of the tests next year as a way of resisting corporate education reform and the monetizing of our children's school experiences.
So that is what I think we should do; feel free to agree or disagree!