By Heather Callaghan
Standardized testing today is nothing like it was in the 90s, and certainly like nothing before that. Today it is nonsensical and insurmountable enough to make students, teachers and parents cry. One Florida fourth grader, who could barely see over the podium as she gave a rousing speech to Hernando County School Board – just couldn’t take being a mere statistic any more.On Mar 17, tiny nine-year-old Sydney Smoot rocked the Brooksville Elementary Schoolhouse when she boldly ripped into the new Florida Standards Assessment. She brought the Board to its feet with a standing ovation after a two-minute lambasting, complete with fitting gesticulation. Take special note about orders that the students cannot disclose what they see on the test to their parents.
Coincidentally, a parallel battle wages against PARCC* testing which is a somewhat privatized form of standardized testing that unfairly gauges knowledge of newly installed Common Core curriculum. It’s an additional burden that takes 10 hours to complete. These tests are moreso hushed. So much so, that publishing company Pearson was recently caught spying on students’ social media accounts to make sure none of the Common-Core-crazy slipped out. All under the guise of “security,” of course. In actuality, these bullies really, really don’t want parents to know what’s happening.
With such an aggressive push for these tests, shrouded in secrecy from parents, and despite such an impressive backlash, it is becoming more apparent that a synthesis is about to take place where everyone loses. Everyone but the State and Common Core pushers who are poised to pull back just a little and by doing so, get what they really wanted all along.
*PARCC = Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, a coalition of states
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