Dad, testing is affecting my bladder and my play! #TrueQuote

State testing is impacting my second grader’s view about the Georgia Criterion-Referenced  Competency Test (CRCT) and high-stakes standardized testing, in general. [And I promise I keep my personal and professional rhetoric on this topic to a minimum at home!]

This morning, PJ told us that they are not allowed to use the bathroom from 8:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. because of the CRCT testing, which second graders at PJ’s school don’t take officially. But the rest of the school is on “testing lockdown.” Additionally, he said that his teacher announced that recess would resume on next Monday, after the CRCT is completed. Now, I know I should not base my entire understanding on the perceptions of a second grader. There is some perspective-skewing, I’m sure. But still!

My eight year old is now imprinted with the idea that CRCT takes away his bathroom and recess. That stinks!

He’s certainly learning some lessons from state testing, and he has not even taken a test segment yet.

#JustAnotherDropInTheBucketForReExaminingTheSystemWeCreated

#WeSayWeWillDoWhateverIsBestForTheKids

#DoWeReallyMeanIt

Chris Thinnes offers a much more eloquent parental response here and here. I’ve added Chris’ posts to this post after the original publication. Chris’ sharing will certainly help me to be a better parent in such family decision making in the future. Thank you, Chris.

What about a Declaration of Independence from the Mother Country of Testing?

I wonder if U.S. educators will ever unite and pen something akin to our country’s Declaration of Independence.

From all I hear and read about educator opinion concerning the standardized-testing industry and the colonization of our classrooms with multiple-choice tests that don’t align well with the broad spectrum of learning, I wonder if we might ever declare independence. And I don’t mean “independent school” compared to “public school.” I mean educators declaring independence from the testing industry that many say they despise and see as counter-productive to preferred methods of assessment and student learning.

When our country’s historic leaders had had enough of “taxation without representation,” they declared an entire set of geographically-diverse peoples as independent from the perceived oppressors. Certainly, if those placing their John Hancocks on the D.o.I. could start the ball rolling on an entire new-country formation, educators – arguably the cohort most connected to “smarts” – could tackle the seemingly much simpler task of declaring our assessment independence.

Perhaps we could rally against the “Red Pens” like past heroes rallied against the “Red Coats.”

Or we could just remain complacent with our situation. Not many hero stories are written about the complacent and meek, though, are they?