It’s the time of year when our teachers and students share in the anticipation of the state standardized testing; STAR testing is out, Common Core is in.
This yearly ritual has become the basis by which all of our teaching has been geared toward, especially for the past dozen or so years. Teaching revolves around taking these tests and what for? To determine how much our students have learned? To evaluate how effective our teachers are? Are the tests to quantify the excellence of the school or district? How effective do these tests actually and accurately give us that kind of information?
It’s doubtful that these tests substantially accomplish any of these things. What these tests really do is provide information on how well the teacher can teach to a test and how well a student is able to take a test. It does not show the actual knowledge a student has learned up to that point in the year.
In California, parents have the legal right to opt their children out of the state standardized testing. Yes, you read that correctly. Your children do not have to take the tests. California Education Code Section 60615 gives parents the right to opt their children out of the testing. The school districts will not tell you that, unless you ask.
Please consider opting your children out of the testing and save them the stressful two weeks of these awful tests. This year, especially, after your children have taken the new tests, you won’t get to see how well or how badly they are able to take the latest standardized test. In opting out, your district will save the $50 to $60 per child that it will take to give the test that you won’t even get to see the scores for this year.