Monday, January 7, 2013

MORE on Opt-Out Day and Ravitch on Opt-Out and Change the Stakes

One of the best organized groups functions in New York state. It is called Change the Stakes. .... Diane Ravitch
Having a group I belong to and helped found described by Diane Ravitch no less as "one of the best organized" is shocking. But given that I leave most of the work to all the other amazing people I wrote about on Friday, it works for me.

CTS has been very involved in opting out of tests for parents and some of the members have been doing so. CTS has helped guide people through the process and build solidarity.

MORE, closely allied with CTS, put out a great statement today on National Opt-Out Day.


On National Opt Out Day

by morecaucusnyc
On National Opt Out day, the Movement of Rank and File Educators stands in solidarity with the brave parents who have stepped forward and said no to high stakes testing! The best way to stop the corporate takeover our schools is to refuse to participate.
Learn more about National Opt Out Day, 2013 by reading here or here or here or here or here or here 
Visit the Change the Stakes Website for information about how New York parents and teachers are united in the struggle against high stakes testing  here
Be one of the 2,300 people who have signed the petition to Give New York State Parents the Right to Opt their Children Out of High Stakes Testing
Or one of 4,000 who have signed Carol Burris’ petition to Governor Cuomo and the LEgislature to End High Stakes Testing
We care MORE about the people our students become and LESS about the scores on the tests they take.
These MOREs have been busy little bees lately with lots MORE to come. The 4 Bloggers of the Apocalypse have brought some life to the MORE blog.
Diane Ravitch gives kudos to Change the Stakes

It’s Time to Change the Stakes–Diane Ravitch

Parents across the nation are taking a stand against the use of tests to measure, rate, and rank their children.
Local school boards are passing resolutions against high-stakes testing.
People are increasingly angry that tests are being used inappropriately in ways for which they were not designed.
They are forming groups to protest.
One of the best organized groups functions in New York state.
It is called Change the Stakes.
It adopted a statement in opposition to high-stakes testing drafted by testing expert Fred Smith.
In addition to their concerns about narrowing the curriculum and demoralizing students, parents and educators want to know more about the testing. They want to know, for example:
“How many professionally designed and developed tests are being given in New York schools? What is the purpose of each? When are they scheduled to be given? How much time is spent administering each test? How many students and schools are involved? And how much money does each test cost (the material, the scoring and the reports)?
Which publisher constructed or supplied each exam? Who owns the exams we are paying for? Which ones are field tests—tests and questions that do not count but enable commercial publishers to develop and sell exams for future use? Which exams are used to screen children for entry into special programs
or selective schools? Which must be passed as a basis for promotion or to fulfill graduation requirements? Surely, the city and state know and can give us these details for the current year.”
The state and city education officials act as though they own the children and can do whatever they want without supplying even the most basic information to parents.
This is wrong. This is contrary to democratic control of public education. The people in charge don’t know more. They just have more power. And they are using it in ways that disrespects parents and educators.

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