Sunday, August 16, 2015

John Oliver Describes the Standardized Testing Mania

Confused about the value of all the standardized testing being required of our Louisiana students? Just watch this brilliant video of John Oliver describing how the testing industry has taken over control of our schools.

Oliver skewers the Bush administration, then the O'bama administration, and then Pearson and all the testing companies that are making a killing while children suffer and teachers are blamed.

New York state had 20% of parents opting their children out of the annual tests this year and expect many more next year. This is apparently the best way to put a stop to this insanity.

Do you know what else is insane? Louisiana has a group of educators and parents now working on revision of the curriculum standards that are tested by these tests, yet they are not allowed to see the actual test questions that will test each of the standards they are expected to approve. See the post below to get some suggestions about how to improve the standards review process.

Note: The first meeting of the Curriculum Standards Review Committee is scheduled for Wed. Aug. 19 in Baton Rouge.

1 comment:

KimberlyDtchr said...

Mr. Deshotels,
We just received training/PD in NWEA/MAP, which has been used by Charters, USA to assess students for Zone of Proximal Development/current instructional level given the standardized test/assessment being utilized by the district. It is supposed to address the issue of whether the test items will actually be useful to guide instruction. Any additional information you can provide on this system and how it will/can be used to assist teachers would be welcome.

With regard to the current CCSS standards and the revision committee, I think that it is an attempt to find some point of intersection of diverse viewpoints. I think that as a general rule, there is overwhelming agreement that the manner in which the standards were created and implemented was poorly-managed. However, teachers have spent the past two to three years adjusting their teaching methods and winnowing their resources/supplies to meet this challenging change. This has cost teachers and districts money and effort that cannot be recouped. We as professional Louisiana educators think and would prefer adjustments to the CCSS as opposed to a complete "scrapping" of the standards.

Parties who wished their thoughts to be known had and still have an opportunity to address every single standard for every single grade. I personally gave a couple of hours to provide feedback/suggestions for the First Grade ELA standards: All of them. Why did I give of my personal time to such? Because it was important to me as a professional educator. It is disrespectful to teachers like me who gave our time and efforts to this process to attempt to denigrate it. It is disrespectful to the parents and community members who chose to give of their personal time to review standards and offer their opinions of needed revisions. It is disrespectful of the legislators who have worked for compromise with regard to the CCSS issue. It is also disrespectful to the teachers who have given their time to serve on this committee. It matters little if there are those on the committee who are for "the other side". It matters even less what the motives are for this process. What does matter is that we find a place where the acrimony and grandstanding ends, where the real issue of equitable education opportunities for our students resumes our primary focus. THIS would include the current invalid school scoring system, which does not take into account student demographics nor the resourcing levels of individual schools. Therefore, I think our efforts would reap greatest rewards if we could pause for a "reset" and thus stand down on issues that are not of primary import.