About 100 people attended a rally organized by Oregon Badass Teachers to protest Pearson, a corporation whose name has become synonymous with high stakes testing. Many attending belonged to organizations that fought to pass legislation that would make it easier for parents to opt their children out of such tests. Stand for Children opposed the bill with saber-rattling threats urging the governor to veto it. Kathleen Hagans Jeskey, event organizer, announced during the march that Governor Kate Brown had just signed the Opt-Out bill into law drawing ecstatic cheers from the crowd.
Protesters, adults and children alike, took the stage to attest (no pun intended) to the horrors of high stakes tests in their lives. Johnny-Moneybags-Pearson literally offered kids money with strings attached — to no art, no music, no library, and so on. They weren’t having any of it.
Bill Gates surprised the crowd by arriving from Seattle, Washington in the Opt-Out Bus. He graciously posed for photos with members of the group causing some to wonder, “Does he finally realize the harm Common Core high stakes testing is doing to America’s children?” We can only hope.
All in all, it was a good day for Oregon’s children.
Parents with their kids in tow flocked to Play Date PDX Sunday evening to learn how to opt their students out of high stakes standardized testing. The kid-friendly venue provided a pleasant atmosphere to share information about the worrisome test their children will be subjected to this year.
In December of 2013 the Oregon Department of Education said the new tests are needed primarily because Oregon’s current tests, known as OAKS, don’t cover the skills schools must impart under the Common Core State Standards that Oregon mandated schools cover by 2014-15. But parents and teachers say not so fast. Members of Oregon Save Our Schools, headed by the Opt Out of High Stakes Testing Committee chaired by LuAnne DeMarco, organized the event to share information about the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium or SBAC (referred to as s-bac) and how parents may request that their children not be required to take the test.
Quintessential primary teacher Emily Crum objects to the new tests for several reasons. In states where the SBAC has already been given, two-thirds of students failed. Similar results have already been projected for Oregon students. Too much time is spent preparing for tests that are developmentally inappropriate for children. The tests take away valuable teaching time and leave little time for kids to be kids. Emily asked families to create posters citing their reasons for opting out of the test. You may view the posters here.
More than 90 people came to receive information and resources to support their decision to opt out. You can find that information and opt out forms here.
Many parents are finding out more about the dark side of high stakes testing and are not willing to simply follow the order of the task masters who are not acting in the best interest of children. Read here why one mother and educator will be opting her children out of the SBAC.
Oregon is not alone in questioning the efficacy of the new tests that supposedly align to the Common Core State Standards. Fair Test and United Opt Out are promoting resistance to the tests nationwide.
Ultimately, the question becomes, “What kind of school experience do we want for our children?” Do we want schools with rich curriculum and exciting experiences, a place where teachers and children want to learn and work and play? Yes. We have the power to opt out of standardized testing!
Portland area organizations are joining together to present Standardized. The movie is gaining attention around the nation as parents, teachers, students, and community members are becoming aware of the true cost of standardized testing. A national movement is growing to opt out of high stakes testing. A panel representing students, parents, and educators will answer questions following the screening. All are welcome.
Find a printable, interactive poster to share here: Standardized Poster
For decades, standardized testing has been a part of public education. Within the last ten years, however, education reform has promoted even more testing. Test scores, mistakenly viewed as effective assessments of student ability and teacher/school effectiveness, are anything but. STANDARDIZED sheds light on the invalid nature of these tests, the terrible consequences of high-stakes testing, and the big money that’s involved.
Please join us for an evening with Dr. Yong Zhao, distinguished author and lecturer, as we listen, discuss, and collaborate to create a positive vision for public education in Oregon. Dr. Zhao, Presidential Chair and Associate Dean for Global Education, College of Education at the University of Oregon, is the author of Catching Up or Leading the Way: American Education in the Age of Globalization.
His book raises interesting and provocative questions about the current direction of educational policies in the U.S.
Is Oregon headed in the right direction?
Is there a different direction we need to go?
How do we create a just and equitable education system? What defines success?
How should a return on educational investment be measured?
How do we define a high quality education?
Location: First Unitarian Church Date: Thursday, April, 5, 2012 Time: 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
Join us for a presentation and discussion about education equity. Is Oregon catching up or leading the way?
Great Schools for America examines issues of public education policy and advocates for the protection of our poorest and most vulnerable students against the rich and powerful who aspire to usurp their rights. We are committed to democratic, not corporate, education ensuring all students access to great teachers, facilities, programs, and projects.