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Parents: Comparing Test Protest Moms To Vaccine Moms

image from 5magazine.files.wordpress.com"Pulling your kid out of testing to save his curiosity feels a little tone-deaf when many children are struggling with reading and addition... Any attempt to scuttle standardized testing needs to acknowledge that even if the tests are problematic, the deficits they attempt to address are real — and any alternative approach needs to face these deficits, not just walk away from them." Via Jezebel: Parents Wage Misguided War Against Standardized Testing.  Feel free to disagree in comments.  (Pretty much only people who disagree with me read this blog.)  

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I sure disagree. Once enough parents support their kids by pulling them out of testing, they will be benefitting other kids by creating a "herd immunity" against damage done by testing. To push the medical analogy, a little testing is like chemotherapy. Too much, and it becomes poison. We crossed that line long ago. Now, direct action is needed.

What a horrible comparison! Vaccine parents choose to not take something that is PROVEN to help ALL children and by not taking vac. potentially harm all children. Standardized testing used to evaluated schools, teachers, students, curriculums, is not proven to bring results at all; in fact it is an easy argument to show how much it hurts these items. It is a clever comparison however and grabs attention.

I love the protest movement because it fights the very people who always argue for "choice" in schools and bring in business models to school organization. Now suddenly the business model people (Rhee etc) are facing a consumer revolt. The market may soon speak! Will these business heads listen? Of course we know the answer, no.

This debate misses the mark slightly. For good or for ill, testing isn't going away. And it shouldn't in an environment that relies on public dollars. The damage to education isn't from tests, per se, but on the class time, curriculum narrowing and other ills that accompany PREPARING for those tests. A more effective measure would be not to boycott tests, but for parents to announce that the moment class time turns into test prep time, it would trigger an immediate boycott on test day.

Vaccines aren't a good medical anology for high-stakes tests. Bloodletting is better. Let's try that:

"Any attempt to scuttle bloodletting needs to acknowledge that even if the treatments are problematic, the diseases they attempt to address are real — "

No, it doesn't work. In most districts in the US, the "failure" diagnosed by NCLB is a hoax perpetrated by quacks. We can just stop bleeding kids and taxpayers for it, and address other problems which ARE real.

Robert, you obviously do not work/teach in a district that currently has a standardized test score link to teacher salary and job, because if you did (I work in DC), you would know that "teaching to the test" is no longer even a taboo statement, it is doctrine. Everyone is doing it, principals are demanding it, field trips are canceled for it, prof development only covers teaching to the test, it is a done deal. Parents need to start revolting now if they value their child's education. The curriculum is dead in DC. People need to get serious about this stuff. I am listening to debates about issues that have left the train station already.

An interesting comparison, and my only guess is that it is designed to shock, which it did. Just recently I completed a paper on emotional intelligence, which highlights the different ways some students learn, and take as succeed in testing. I appreciate that standardized testing is a must, because we have to have some way of validating students and their success, but I would like to see the process more comprehensive in nature, and not built solely around a students I.Q., which at present is the gold standard. Hopefully one day, the technology will allow for a more comprehensive evaluation of a student and then they can get vaccinated and take a test that does a better job of evaluating students on the whole.
It is good to agree to disagree sometimes, as this is not a bad thing.

Hello, and thank you for opening your comments.

I don't think vaccines are safe and effective for every child. Even the CDC will tell you that. Moreover, I've been vaccinated beyond the usual recommendations (travelled overseas as a child) and STILL got a medically documented case of the measles in college. I vaccinate my own children against everything but HPV and the flu, but respect the rights of other parents NOT to vaccinate.

I homeschool and respect the rights of the parents who are trying to opt out of this aspect of public education. I am teaching my homeschooled children that no one can MAKE them take any test. Hopefully, however, I have also taught them to disagree *politely* but FIRMLY.

PS. As a mom of four autistic children, I have to tell you that the "vaccine" issue is very divisive in my "community." It doesn't have to be. We just need to speak the truth and respect when others don't do as we would wish. :)

There are other reasons for boycotting tests. In Prince William County, for example, parents have protested against an atrocious math program taught in k-5 called Investigations in Number, Data and Space. Many parents teach their kids real math at home or hire tutors or send them to Sylvan, Huntington and the like. If these kids take the tests they will likely do well and give the school district the "evidence" that Investigations is resulting in good test scores in math. If those parents pull their kids out of testing, Investigations does not get credit for the efficacy of tutors, parents and learning centers.

State mandated testing results in teachers teaching to the test rather than to comprehension and fluency. As a result what our children learn is compressed into making sure they know enough to pass the test, rather than making sure they've grasped the knowledge and skills necessary to succeed at the next level.

This "dumbing down" is why the availability of tutoring services like Kumon and Sylvan have exploded in the last 10 - 15 years. It's how instructional programs that are profoundly lacking in content have been developed and are in use in school districts around the country. After all, if the goal is just obtaining the knowledge necessary to pass the test, and the test only has one subtraction problem on it, subtraction doesn't have to be emphasized.

Many parents have chosen to withdraw their children from state mandated testing because the oppose the dumbed down curriculum. I'd say the parents who choose to pull their children from state testing are more courageous than misguided, as they are taking a stand against dumbed down instructional programs and the useless tests states mandate.

State mandated testing results in teachers teaching to the test rather than to comprehension and fluency. As a result what our children learn is compressed into making sure they know enough to pass the test, rather than making sure they've grasped the knowledge and skills necessary to succeed at the next level.

This "dumbing down" is why the availability of tutoring services like Kumon and Sylvan have exploded in the last 10 - 15 years. It's how instructional programs that are profoundly lacking in content have been developed and are in use in school districts around the country. After all, if the goal is just obtaining the knowledge necessary to pass the test, and the test only has one subtraction problem on it, subtraction doesn't have to be emphasized.

Many parents have chosen to withdraw their children from state mandated testing because the oppose the dumbed down curriculum. I'd say the parents who choose to pull their children from state testing are more courageous than misguided, as they are taking a stand against dumbed down instructional programs and the useless tests states mandate.

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