State Testing A Story
TEacher at computer (picture) and text.
Teachers, administrators and school staff haven't always spent so much time on paperwork. data collection, "staff-development" and "enhanced accountability."
There was a time when the focus of public eduation was the classroom, not the State Department of Education.
But then in 2001 No Child Left Behind gave power to elite: the "experts", bureaucracies, and corporations who treat public education money as their slush fund.
Teachers, administrators, and local school staff were burdened with onerous and inane tasks that directed their focus away from their classrooms and ate up time they could have spent planning lessons or working with their students.
State and local school system budgets were lavished on technology, new curriculum, and an ever expanding elite bureaucracy that never interacted with students, but nevertheless authoritatively implemented the latest fads, an ever changing curriculum, and high cost/low value assessments that they discarded and replaced with newer and bigger tests every few years.
S. 1177 One Hundred Fourteenth Congress of the United States of America
and held at the City of Washington on Tuesday, the sixth day of January, two thousand and fifteen
An Act To reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 to ensure that every child achieves.
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
This Act may be cited as the ‘‘Every Student Succeeds Act’’.
SEC. 8526A. PROHIBITION AGAINST FEDERAL MANDATES, DIRECTION, OR CONTROL.
(a) IN GENERAL.—No officer or employee of the Federal Government shall, through grants, contracts, or other cooperative agreements, mandate, direct, or control a State, local educational agency, or school’s specific instructional content, academic standards and assessments, curricula, or program of instruction developed and implemented to meet the requirements of this Act (including any requirement, direction, or mandate to adopt the Common Core State Standards developed under the Common Core State Standards Initiative, any other academic standards common to a significant number of States, or any assessment, instructional content, or curriculum aligned to such standards), nor shall anything in this Act be construed to authorize such officer or employee to do so.
SEC. 8549A SENSE OF CONGRESS.
(a) FINDINGS.—The Congress finds as follows:
(1) This Act prohibits the Federal Government from mandating, directing, or controlling a State, local educational agency, or school’s curriculum, program of instruction, or allocation of State and local resources, and from mandating a State or any subdivision thereof to spend any funds or incur any costs not paid for under this Act.
(2) This Act prohibits the Federal Government from funding the development, pilot testing, field testing, implementation, administration, or distribution of any federally sponsored national test in reading, mathematics, or any other subject, unless specifically and explicitly authorized by law.
(b) SENSE OF CONGRESS — It is the sense of the Congress that States and local educational agencies retain the rights and responsibilities of determining educational curriculum, programs of instruction, and assessments for elementary and secondary education.
picture of teacher...picture of student finding out about ESSA
Did Your STATE return to reasonable testing and unburden your schools so that teachers can teach and administrators can provide a safe, inviting and productive school environment?
Confirm this with any teacher, counselor or administrator: Students will suffer no harm if SLOs, TDPs, CAASPP, FSA, MCAP, STAAR, CMAS, ISAT, IAR, OST, OSTP, WY-TOPP, AASA, PSSA, MISA and every other acronymed bureaucratic task disappears tomorrow!!
Yet will continue until YOU call the bluff of the bureaucracy,
1) Get the word out!
Tell teachers, parents, students, unions, PTSAs and every voter and taxpayer about our One Day In May freedom under ESSA.
Private schools choose norm-referenced, paper and pencil assessments like the TerraNova3 (the re-named CAT) to evaluate their students and programs.
They never use the State Exams.
If public schools answered to the parents, like the private schools do, then specially constructed state tests would not be forced on our children.
Public school students deserve no less respect for their time, resources and meaningful evaluation than private school students get.
What a racket! Who benefits from every state creating it's own testing program (CAASPP, FSA, MCAP, STAAR, CMAS, ISAT, IAR, OST, OSTP, WY-TOPP, AASA, PSSA, etc.)?
The sole-source contractors, education elite and bureaucracies who are running the programs benefit.
The students, teachers, taxpayers and anyone who really cares to assess how schools are performing, especially compared to schools in other states, loses.
If you can't get your state to adopt reasonable testing and eliminate extraneous teacher tasks, your local officials can still save your local schools.
Federal Law now allows local school districts to opt out of their state testing program and choose instead to administer a test like the TerraNova. (I bet you never heard that from your state department of education - shame on them.)
SEC. 1005. STATE PLANS. (a) (2) (H) (i) ACADEMIC ASSESSMENTS
Section 1111 (20 U.S.C. 6311) is amended to read as follows:
(H) LOCALLY -SELECTED ASSESSMENT .—
(i) IN GENERAL .—Nothing in this paragraph shall be construed to prohibit a local educational agency from administering a locally-selected assessment in lieu of the State-designed academic assessment
Your County Executive or other elected official responsible for the budget can insist that schools adopt One Day In May principles.
Someone with the real power of the purse and will of the people needs to challenge the bluff and bullying of the status quo.