High Stakes Testing and the Black Community: Just Say NO!

Please watch and share this video of Jamaal Bowman, principal of CASA Middle School in the Bronx, talking about the deleterious effects of testing on our children. Opting Out of high stakes testing and testing tied to teacher evaluations is a decision parents can and should be making for their children. As Principal Bowman explains in this video – let us work together to OPT IN to teaching and learning that will benefit the whole child and instill a lifelong love of education.

Here is the narrative from an interview by Your Black Education:

“Standardized tests? Principal Jamaal Bowman says ‘Know your rights’. President Obama recently spoke out against excessive standardized testing. The POTUS claimed that this issue, “takes the joy out of teaching and learning, both for them (teachers) and for the students”. Long before Obama’s declaration, Jamaal Bowman, Founding Principal of CASA (Cornerstone Academy for Social Action) in Bronx, NY, has been advocate for student and parent rights and the movement to opt out of standardized tests to promote more holistic approaches to assessment of student learning. Bowman speaks with YBE about the impact of standardized tests on Black and Brown students and offers his advice to their parents.”

Here is the video:

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Say No to SBAC

I am reblogging this from Ann Cronin’s excellent blog Real Learning CT. Although Ann is talking about the SBAC test, these 10 reasons to say “no” to the testing are applicable to all the common core standardized testing throughout the country.

#DoNoHarm
#2015YearoftheStudent

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Real Learning CT

Connecticut currently mandates the testing of public school students in grades 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 11 with standardized tests produced by the Smarter Balance Assessment Consortium (SBAC). I am opposed to SBAC testing for English language arts because those tests neither measure authentic achievement nor foster students’ growth as readers, writers, and thinkers. Here are 10 reasons to STOP the harmful SBAC testing.

  1. SBAC tests are not rigorous.

The tests do not demand complex thinking. The tests are aligned to the Common Core standards, and the content of the Common Core Standards for English Language Arts is inferior content which does not serve to develop students as motivated, engaged readers and effective writers.

  1. SBAC tests are not field-tested for college and career readiness.

No one knows if a good score indicates that a student will be successful in college or careers or if a poor score indicates…

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To Test or Not to TEST? STOP THE INSANITY NOW – great new web film from Michael Elliott coming SOON!

There is another powerful video coming soon that will seal the fate of the high stakes test movement in the United States. A Parent, a Teacher, and a Principal are interviewed in this amazing web film from producer Michael Elliott.

Bottom line – if you take the test, you are supporting the education reform movement. If you refuse the test, you are sending the message that the reformers are just plain wrong for America.

Refuse the test – use your PARENT, TEACHER, ADMINISTRATOR VOICES!

We have more power and influence than we think we have.

So watch for this ground breaking video coming out in just a few days.

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When children are informed about why their parents are opting them out of high stake tests

Here is a repost with permission from Lourdes Perez Ramirez a new friend and the founder and CEO of HispanEduca – a wonderful non-profit organization “empowering Hispanics/Latinos with access to education policy and reform so they (we) can impact and shape it!”

He followed every single instruction he had been given to refuse his computer-based tests scheduled for today.

He clicked SUBMIT without having answered a single test item. He raised his hand, very politely, and his teacher knew the student had finished before his classmates because he and his mom had decided to refuse.

His wonderful, Hispanic mom, who has two jobs every single day of the week, could not pick him up and keep him away from school for more than an hour, and then come back for the rest of the school day. Missing a few hours of her job would be the difference between paying the rent or being evicted.

After HispanEduca and the mom handed the principal a test-refusal letter, the school agreed, and the mom authorized for the child to spend the rest of the testing period at the school’s office.

There he was, doing some homework, when an office employee of this Orange County middle school approached the boy and threatened him saying that “he had to take the test because it was mandatory and if he didn’t he would be affected!”

But this 8th grade boy had been instructed, kept informed for more than a year, of what was going to happen today;  what to say and do and the importance of respecting his elders no matter what. And respect he did, when he told the lady”

“I know what I am doing; you are wrong, I will not be affected, and my mom supports me. I am a good student. Do you want me to call the organization who is supporting me and my mom so they can tell you that what I am doing is my right?” 

The old lady shut up and went back to her desk. She didn’t say another word, and the boy went back to his homework. He felt empowered! He knew there were responsible adults behind him, working on his behalf and his right to have the same education opportunities that non-Hispanic children have.

Does school staff know; have they been informed this is illegal?

Maybe not.  But keeping an 8th grader informed of what is going on, makes it even more satisfactory because we are also educating these wonderful children on civil rights issues. Even if they are residents with a visa. They too have rights. These children have rights and we have to make sure they feel protected and supported.

Kudos for this boy! We know there must be many more out there!

And Kudos to you Lourdes, and your organization HispanEduca, for helping Hispanic families learn of their rights and find their voice and power in the age of abusive school reforms.

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