Thursday, February 16, 2012

Open rebellion against standardized school tests in Texas


Open rebellion against standardized school tests in Texas
Dallas Morning News By Rodger Jones/Editorial Writer rmjones@dallasnews.com
1:31 AM on Tue., Feb. 14, 2012
Saying high-stakes standardized testing is "strangling our public schools," superintendents of several high-performing North Texas school districts have jointly signed a letter to top state officials and lawmakers warning about the deterioration of the education system.
Call it open rebellion against the 25-year-old testing regimen. Wow.
The letter goes out to back up Texas Education Commissioner Robert Scott, according to Coppell Superintendent Jeff Turner. Scott asserted recently that emphasis on high-stakes testing in some places had become a "perversion" of the system that lawmakers had in mind. Scott's comments about testing inflamed Texas Association of Business chief Bill Hammond and put the governor's office on edge.

Texas Republican Blows the Whistle on the Techno-Scholastic Complex
Education Week Living in Dialogue Blog By Anthony Cody on February 7, 2012 10:53 PM
Follow me on Twitter at @AnthonyCody
This week another Republican used the phrase "military-industrial complex." Only he was not talking about the arms industry. He was talking about the diverse alignment of vested interests now driving our schools towards a common goal. The speaker was Robert Scott, Education Commissioner of the state of Texas.
Here is what he said:
The assessment and accountability regime has become not only a cottage industry but a military-industrial complex. And the reason that you're seeing this move toward the "common core" is there's a big business sentiment out there that if you're going to spend $600-$700 billion a year in public education, why shouldn't be one big Boeing, or Lockheed-Grumman contract where one company can get it all and provide all these services to schools across the country.

Don't like the effects of STAAR tests on education? Opt out
Austin Texas Statesman.com Opinion by Edy Chamness, Local Contributor
Published: 7:10 p.m. Monday, Feb. 13, 2012
Vampires and guinea pigs have recently been noted in meetings in Austin in regards to the new State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness exams.
"You've created this one thing that the entire system is dependent on. ... It is the heart of the vampire," said Robert Scott, Texas' education commissioner, to State Board of Education members, according to the American-Statesman on Jan. 26.
Rep. Donna Howard, D-Austin, also recently remarked to parents about the STAAR counting for 15 perecent of high school course grades. "Make sure your voice is heard that this is not OK. Your children should not be guinea pigs," she said, according to the Jan. 25 American-Statesman.  Do you feel that your child is just a guinea pig with the implementation of the new STAAR tests? How can your voice as a parent be heard about the STAAR tests?  One simple way to be heard is to opt out.

United Opt Out National
The movement to end punitive public school testing

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