A Reader Writes… State Testing – Making a Success Out of a Mess – Part 2

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In response to the 9/24//2013 post, State Testing – Making a Success Out of a Mess, a LYS Assistant Superintendent writes:

SC

I would agree with accountability for all, but I do not and never will agree with high stakes testing.  As you know, I occupy a seat of significant responsibility/authority in my district, my wife is an educator, and my daughter consistently has her name among the A – honor roll list. In my family, we all value education.

When the time for state testing rolls around my daughter becomes very emotional and starts to cry from the pressure.  She always performs at or near the “commended level” and we, as a family, have never added any pressure above what is coming from the state through our schools.  When THE TEST affects a student in such a negative way it makes me want to opt my child out of state testing.  Remember that she is one of the higher scoring students in the school.  

I have been reading about other states and the rights of parents to opt out.  It is only a matter of time before the state has a court ruling that blows the whole system apart.  Parents have a right to decide if their child takes part in such testing.  Unfortunately, in my position, it would probably do my family more harm than good for me to be a test case.  
Your thoughts?

SC Response My thought on the “Parent Opt-out” of high stakes testing… There’s a minefield to dance through.

Let me state up front that I do not have children who are subject to the current accountability testing program, so an emotional component is not part of my opinion of the matter.  I get that it is hard to be rational when it is your own child.

What I can say is that the testing program we currently have in Texas has been “Agendaized” and “Politicized” to a point that the unintended consequences wreck at least as much havoc as the intended consequences produce the desired result.  As such, if I had a parent who did not want their child to take a test that did not impact promotion or graduation, I would have a difficult time arguing that their decision was misguided. And keep in mind, I am a first generation, pro-accountability guy. 

Your problem, as you point out, is that you can’t be the test case when your child attends school in your district.  And enrolling your child in another district really should not be an option either.  As you well know, as a Leader you have to work to make the system better, even if sometimes that makes it difficult to be a father. 

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A Reader Writes… Common Assessment Review – Part 1
A Reader Shares… Measuring “Doing What is Right”

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