flack from the school. What really got to me was when she said, "My friends are all complainingabout their lousy scores, but Mom, I would give anything to have gotten their lousy scores."When numbers matter that much, we need to stop and remind ourselves that state achievementtests are not meant to evaluate our children, they are meant to evaluate the alignment of instruction with the curriculum. Our children's self worth should not be wrapped up in numbers. Neither should teachers be valued based on these test scores. If their instruction is deemed to be poorly aligned with the curriculum being tested, there is a bigger problem than single teachers--this is a problem of leadership, textbook selection, and professional development, and cannot besolved by punishing teachers.7:35 PM on September 1, 2011Thank you for writing this. Words from personal experience that illuminates what other parentsare experiencing and highlighting, without judgement, that " to understand that they're not pushing back against public schools, but against a destructive law." Bring the stories of parentsopposition and resistance out of the shadows.9:12 PM on September 1, 2011 Nancy, I carefully considered this with regard to my own children ten years ago. Of course back then testing was less toxic. At Twinfield Union HS in Plainfield VT, 2 families opted out and theschool, otherwise an excellent school, failed to make AYP as a result. This can't be a piecemealeffort - people have to organize and do it properly or they will hurt their community schools. Oneor two families are nut cases, ten families are a revolt.
12:02 PM on September 2, 2011I opted my son out of the standardized tests one year because he had already taken the fourthgrade Stanford (when he was in the third grade and scored a very high percentile then). Theschool insisted he take the fourth grade test again, which I considered a waste of time that wouldyield no useful data about my son.5 meetings later, the last one the district superintendent, I was still standing firm. What amazedme was all the nonsense school official told me about the test until I told them I was a schoolteacher and knew better. I can only surmise they give the same malarkey to education-system-naive parents and get away with it.Eventually, the superintendent said, "if you pull him out of the test, he will have to spend themornings for a week in the library. You don't want that, do you?" He really said that, and I said,"Sure, throw him in the briar patch." Best week my kid ever had in school.12:06 PM on September 2, 2011Check out this article from Lisa Nielsen to learn about a national effort to opt out