Tuesday, March 17, 2015
Parents Should Join The "Opt Out" Movement And Stop The NYSED From Hurting Their Children With Junk Science.
More and more parents are joining the "opt out" movement and not having their children subject to these high stakes tests that instill fear and loathing into the students. These high stakes tests are based upon "junk science" and are developed without classroom teacher participation. Even the State realized how irrelevant these tests are by agreeing not to use them for student promotion decisions. However, these high stakes standardized tests that corporate reformers and our Governor loves and wants will be part of a student's permanent record and will be used as ammunition against the child in placement decisions.
Furthermore, while the high stakes tests will not be used against students for promotion decisions it will be used to grade teachers despite the American Statistical Association finding the "Value Added Model" (VAM) was not a fair or reliable indicator of a teacher's contribution to a student's growth. They found that a teacher accounted for only between 1% to 14% of a student's academic growth and that the use of high stakes tests, as presently used, is inappropriate.
Moreover, teachers who had "high needs students", languished and were more likely to be found "ineffective" due to the fudge factors used in the "junk science" in the VAM. Award winning Principal Carol Burns continues to find more and more problems with the New York State teacher evaluation system and you can read it here.
Finally, the more parents who "opt out" the already unreliable data associated with the test will become even less so and irrelevant until NYSED finally realizes that the data is unusable and they abandon the VAM altogether. Interestingly, our disconnected union leadership is ambivalent to the "opt out" movement, rather than be in the forefront and supporting this movement and that's a real shame.
Remember, by "opting out" you will not subject your child to the fear and loathing of this useless test and help convince New York State develop a test that takes into account the interests of all parties not the corporate reformers that simply want to destroy public education and privatize it as a money making enterprise at the expense of the children.