If you are a parent you have heard of the “Opt-Out Rally Cry” being felt throughout New York state and moving across the country. (NY Times) This cry is big. Parents are tired of all of the testing that their students, especially young students, are being subjected to.
The Washington Post phrased it well when they said:
“Opt out is far bigger than a test refusal event. It is the repudiation of a host of corporate reforms that include the Common Core, high-stakes testing, school closings and the evaluation of teachers by test scores. These reforms are being soundly rejected by parents and teachers.”
In rejecting these reforms there is a lot at stake. Federal funding is contingent on 95% of all students participating in Common Core exams. For states that fall below the mark their funding is put into question. This pits administrators and government against parents and teachers who are trying to reform the system and prevent excessive stressors from impacting their children.
A fellow blogger DigiDad, asked that we share his recent fight with his school administration. Despite a physician’s note requesting that his son not participate in the end of year tests, the administration is forcing the issues citing a lack of paperwork being completed by the state. You can read his original post here.
This is a precarious time in our educational system. Nothing is more important that our children’s education and we are at a time in history where the type of education that our children are receiving goes directly against everything we know about teaching young children to learn. The entire educational system is flawed:
- We don’t reward teachers who are highly trained and educated
- We have decreased active learning in favor of passive lecture style teaching even for young children despite the negative impact of this style being well known (Stanford)
- We have cut funding for the arts despite evidence that this actually negatively impacts learning and creative thinking (PBS)
The school system we know today was created during the Progressive Era. It is modeled after a factory and it worked relatively well because it was not required to produce the critical thinkers that are needed in our society today. (Foreign Affairs)
As working parents it is easy to get caught up in the craziness of your individual day. However, we must stop and look at not just how it impacts our child, but how these regulations impact America as a whole. In order to improve we must transform education by allowing parents to participate in the process. We also need to create an educational system that rewards teachers who encourage innovation and creativity. It is a conundrum of mass proportions, but if we don’t figure this puzzle out and begin looking to countries that have thriving public education we can forget about the American Dream. Instead our future generations will be worried about American survival.
Peace, Love & Time to Rebuild,
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Image Credit: http://www.wnyc.com, texastribune.org