Testing season is over and teachers and students have returned to the anti-stress classroom environment that they should have enjoyed all year long.
Exploring, asking questions, taking the time to investigate the solutions to a problem instead of finding the answer, this is when the intended purpose of education is realized in many classrooms.
Veteran teachers know that the parent and teacher push back against standardized testing has been going on for years. They know that if they just “ride out the storm” though reformed, things will not have changed, testing will continue and our children will continue to suffer through our current system of education, being classified, terrorized, and dehumanized, made ready for the workforce.
Our federal government will continue to financially intimidate states into following their curriculum.
States will continue to bully their LEA’s into purchasing and administering standardized tests.
Districts will pass along the pressure tactics they must endure to their superintendents who instruct their administrators to intimidate their teachers into adhering to the illegal and unconstitutional education legislation, policy, and procedural demands.
And, teachers will spend the better part of their class time preparing their students for tests that they know are meaningless, except to those who would profit from their use, until testing is over and real learning can begin.
We tell children learning is fun and then remove all of the fun from learning by making them sit still, be quiet, listen carefully, follow directions, and pass the test. For those children who are unable to comply with “normal” behavior we help them by classifying them as “disabled” and, for the rest of their educational career, try to correct their disabilities instead of teaching them to use their gifts and talents, their strengths, to overcome their weaknesses.
When we provide every child in America with a Constitutionally guaranteed, excellent, free and public education, we will be able to assess the success of that system by measuring the growth of the involvement of citizens in their government and the willingness of our children to become life long learners.
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