Please know I am not devaluing foundational knowledge or the need to teach our children rudimentary functions of grammar, math, science or other academic studies. But what I am saying is that we are completely missing the boat when it comes to encouraging students to take risks, make mistakes or explore the unknown.
Congress can ensure a better future for our kids by reauthorizing the Elementary and Secondary Education Act with language that empowers schools to limit redundant benchmarking assessments, maintains annual standardized tests for third through eighth grade, and changes the stakes to offer more support to teachers serving students with the greatest needs.
While the only way to know for sure if you have kidney disease is to get tested, there are a number of physical signs. Sometimes people attribute these physical symptoms of kidney disease to other conditions. This is because those with kidney disease tend not to experience symptoms until the very late stages, when the kidneys are failing or when there are large amounts of protein in the urine.
To all of my precious students: My guess is that all of you will wonder why I am making you take these tests. And the answer is simple. I have to. Our state and federal government say that I have to give these tests to you. That you must take them. And I need you to know how very sorry I am about that.
We are offended by the situation in which we find ourselves, in which education policy is dictated by billionaires who never taught a day in their lives, while our patiently gained professional expertise is ignored. Thirty days of testing is sufficiently outrageous and -- we believe -- indefensible.
Just say no to annual testing. No high-performing nation does it, and neither should we. We are the most over-tested nation in the world, and it's time to encourage children to sing, dance, play instruments, write poetry, imagine stories, create videos, make science projects, write history papers, and discover the joy of learning.
My second grader brought a test home from school, some sort of comprehension test, reading and vocabulary. I noticed she got a couple of questions wrong, so I wanted to look them over to see what exactly she was not comprehending, not understanding. What follows is the actual conversation I had with my 8-year-old regarding a question she got "wrong."