The Lee County School Board has backed out and students will get tests and tests and more tests. But I know parents will not give up. I’m hoping they will hold their Superintendent accountable for stating that she wanted to devise a plan. This plan should include parents. Perhaps there are some parent lawyers who are willing to step-up to the plate.
It’s not just Lee County as you know. Consider this from the Miami Herald, “Out of the 180-day academic year, Miami-Dade County schools will administer standardized tests on every day but eight. Though not every student will take every test, the number and consequences of testing are facing a growing backlash from parents, teachers and even some district officials.”
Never before have so many been looking at the testing fiasco, everywhere. And Lee County is reporting this as the Common Core State Standard tests which are called Florida Common Standards…at least last I heard. Please tell me if they have changed the name again.
In the news, they acknowledged this was about Common Core and Thomas B. Fordham President Michael Petrilli weighed in. He said, “I think you might see some other symbolic actions form school boards around the country, but at the end of the day as long as they need the funding and the public is demanding information about how schools are performing, I think we’re going to see districts administering the test.”
I wasn’t going to write about all this again, and I am not trying to be presumptuous, but I have an important point to make involving Common Core and testing and Lee County. If this is already understood, just skip it. I am only an observer from afar. Or better yet, any parent who would like to use my website or blog to post their side of the matter, please let me know.
Superintendent Graham said on her original video that she did not want to start over with a new standardized test because a new test would not be validated.
Researchers, knowledgeable about statistics, will tell you that the Common Core State Standards are not really validated. The backers like to state that they are, but there is, as most know, confusion by some as to what real test validation involves.
Dr. Sandra Stotsky questioned the validation process (HERE). We know she was on the original English Language Arts Common Core committee. Properly validating tests take a long time. Common Core was never properly field-tested. Read about how they are doing this in Education Week. They are not even sure whether all the aligning is really aligning. So how can the tests be validated tests?
Yet, Dr. Graham says she doesn’t like to give tests that aren’t validated. And the district should not be penalized for wanting validated tests for their students.
And about getting a lawyer—here are the Florida Statues concerning testing. I still think that parents need a good lawyer, preferably someone who understands schools, who can wade through all this.
Should there not be some work started to eliminate harmful statues—like the testing in regard to retention? There is research aplenty to point to the harmful effects of holding students back. Florida testing advocates like to point to this as a good thing…and many parents believe it, but it is a terrible result of testing in Florida that needs to stop immediately.
And don’t forget Patricia Levesque’s statement that there are 160 tests that Lee County teachers administer beyond what they need to give. If they don’t exist, ask her to retract her statement. Those with power over students, should be held accountable for what they say and/or do.
But if you find those tests do exist, they should be eliminated immediately! If the State of Florida doesn’t require them, then Superintendent Graham should drop them. Request her to write an explanation why she keeps them if that is what she does. In the meantime, sit your children out of those tests. See United Opt Out Florida.
Everyone was and still is watching you, and they learned more about how bad tests are and how you want something better. And they learned about courage too. Every little step leads to to one big step. I know you are proud of what you accomplished for students everywhere!
You are more emboldened than ever. Take the superintendent up on the “plan.” Then delete, delete, delete. Like a sculptor creating a masterpiece, chip away! Leave only those tests that are validated and which will help teachers do the jobs they are prepared to do. Teach!
Thank you to the parents who provided me with information and who are fighting so hard for all students.