Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Indiana Coalition for Public Education had a public meeting last night to discuss the state assessment that begins this week.  The title was "ISTEP What Does It Tell Us".  We had an Assistant Superintendent, Teacher, Parent, Educator, Faculty member from I.U.

Essentially, the standardized test didn't really seem to tell them much of anything that they didn't already know.  We were given a history of the standards movement which has vacillated between being progressive, student-centered to more rigid and content driven over the last one hundred years.  The difference now is the addition of the high stakes testing and the multiple uses for which the test results are being used.  One of the panel members characterized the test as being the most magical test in the world as it can be used to evaluate, diagnose, place students, judge teacher effectiveness, and school quality-all with the same number.

The Assistant Superintendent was asked how she felt about parents opting their children out of the state assessment program, and she couldn't understand why anybody would do that.  Since testing has become such a major part of the curriculum parents should have the same option of requesting their child be exempted as they do for other curriculum areas.  Another panelist commented that the lack of an opt-out for parents is the "ugliest" part of the state assessment program.  Conversations like this need to be taking place in every community.  We need to have an informed public.

The Community Conversation can be seen on the local CATS network.

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