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(Slate)   If you think standardized testing is bad, wait until you see what happens when a parent opts her kid out of the test   (slate.com) divider line 295
    More: Scary, University of Denver, parents, standardized test, online school, report cards, school library  
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21813 clicks; posted to Main » on 10 Mar 2014 at 1:11 PM (20 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-03-10 12:48:51 PM
"Voluntary" has been a synonym with "mandated" for a long time in China

I really don't think we should be using the Chinese as our guides for political advancement.

//Not serious post
 
2014-03-10 12:56:04 PM
What is she teaching her kids? If it's hard, don't worry mommy will take care of you. Her reasons/excuses are irrelevant, the school her kids attend has the test, then the kids should goddamned well take the the test. No wonder we have a whole generation of precious snowflakes.
 
2014-03-10 12:58:32 PM

swaniefrmreddeer: What is she teaching her kids? If it's hard, don't worry mommy will take care of you. Her reasons/excuses are irrelevant, the school her kids attend has the test, then the kids should goddamned well take the the test. No wonder we have a whole generation of precious snowflakes.


1/10.  RTFA, asshole.
 
2014-03-10 01:13:55 PM

Benevolent Misanthrope: swaniefrmreddeer: What is she teaching her kids? If it's hard, don't worry mommy will take care of you. Her reasons/excuses are irrelevant, the school her kids attend has the test, then the kids should goddamned well take the the test. No wonder we have a whole generation of precious snowflakes.

1/10.  RTFA, asshole.


I did, and it seemed to be far more about mommy than her kids. I have a kid with anxiety issues, sheltering him would only make the situation worse. Life is hard, the sooner kids learn that lesson the better.
 
2014-03-10 01:13:55 PM
People need to know when they are conquered. Now sit down and bubble in the responses because reasons.
 
2014-03-10 01:14:23 PM
Not sure I agree that skipping tests will help the daughter's test taking anxiety, but whatever.

Outragey Slate article is outraged.  Shocker.
 
2014-03-10 01:16:56 PM

Benevolent Misanthrope: swaniefrmreddeer: What is she teaching her kids? If it's hard, don't worry mommy will take care of you. Her reasons/excuses are irrelevant, the school her kids attend has the test, then the kids should goddamned well take the the test. No wonder we have a whole generation of precious snowflakes.

1/10.  RTFA, asshole.


BM, I usually really like your posts, but hold on a second.

FTFA: "Deciding to opt my two daughters out of Colorado standardized testing seemed like a no-brainer. We aren't permanent Colorado residents-we're just here for one academic year1while I'm a visiting professor at the University of Denver. My daughters, ages 13 and 14, are strong students. My husband and I see no educational benefit2to the tests. My younger daughter experienced some serious test anxiety a couple of years back3when taking Pennsylvania's standardized tests."

1: So what?  Are they in the Colorado system or not?
2: They go on to admit that they did no research beforehand and were using their gut decider-style.
3: Boo farking hoo.  Life is hard.  Overcoming anxiety is a life skill.

Her decision was whimsical at best, and has potential reprocussions for others.  Yes, standardized tests have gone way too far, butshe comes nowhere close to adequately articulating a reasonable argument for this action.  To the contrary, she explains why it's probably not such a great idea.
 
2014-03-10 01:18:24 PM
That was a lot of effort to avoid her kids taking the tests.  I can see why she wouldn't go out of her way for the kids to take them, but that was a lot of work to avoid them.

Not worth it...
 
2014-03-10 01:18:26 PM
So the outrageous actions the school took were... asking her nicely, lots of times?

 - Opting out of testing does not seem like a way to reduce test-taking anxiety. And yes, if that is your reason, taking more tests IS likely to help on future standardized tests (like the ACT, as someone from the school mentioned).
 - Opting out of test day does nothing to address most, valid concerns about standardized testing as overarching control of modern schooling. They're still in the same classes, with the same teacher, going over the same material. This seems... pointless?
 
2014-03-10 01:18:37 PM
More parents need to stand up and start doing this. Standardized testing is bullshiat. The kids know it, the teachers know it, and it disrupts actual learning they could be doing.

On the plus side, I did get to literally fark around during the last two years of primary schooling due to this crap.
 
2014-03-10 01:19:03 PM
Can anyone name another industry that puts as much effort into self-evaluation (at the expense of its actual purpose) as education?

Schools today are like a restaurant where the cooks are eating 75% of the food made to make sure it's good.
 
2014-03-10 01:19:21 PM

swaniefrmreddeer: What is she teaching her kids? If it's hard, don't worry mommy will take care of you. Her reasons/excuses are irrelevant, the school her kids attend has the test, then the kids should goddamned well take the the test. No wonder we have a whole generation of precious snowflakes.


Public schools do this type of testing so they can get their piece of the public funding pie. ($$$$$$$)

Private schools do not do similar testing.

Has nothing to do with snowflakes.  This is one article you might consider taking the few minutes to read and how these types of tests don't do anything for the students, but everything for the schools they attend.
 
2014-03-10 01:19:24 PM

swaniefrmreddeer: What is she teaching her kids? If it's hard, don't worry mommy will take care of you. Her reasons/excuses are irrelevant, the school her kids attend has the test, then the kids should goddamned well take the the test. No wonder we have a whole generation of precious snowflakes.


Pretty much. Her reasons for not having the children take take the test are stupid. Who cares if they are only in the schooldistrict for a year? So what if your child has anxiety? Just have them study and participate. If the children truly are such strong students it shouldn't matter if the test is standardised or not.
 
2014-03-10 01:19:32 PM
 
2014-03-10 01:19:36 PM
If the test is truly irrelevant enough to skip why not treat it as practice for dealing with test anxiety? Or use it to teach your kid that sometimes in life you have to jump through bullshiat hoops just because?
 
2014-03-10 01:19:45 PM
FTA: while my husband and I definitely thought through our decision to opt our kids out, we consulted our guts, not research.

Imagine that: go into something half-cocked and then be bewildered when things go pear shaped.
 
2014-03-10 01:20:06 PM

swaniefrmreddeer: Benevolent Misanthrope: swaniefrmreddeer: What is she teaching her kids? If it's hard, don't worry mommy will take care of you. Her reasons/excuses are irrelevant, the school her kids attend has the test, then the kids should goddamned well take the the test. No wonder we have a whole generation of precious snowflakes.

1/10.  RTFA, asshole.

I did, and it seemed to be far more about mommy than her kids. I have a kid with anxiety issues, sheltering him would only make the situation worse. Life is hard, the sooner kids learn that lesson the better.


And yet, actually reading and understanding the article continues to go right over your head. Amazing.

Let me guess: your livelihood depends on standardized testing. If so, kill yourself.
 
2014-03-10 01:20:13 PM
I really kind of missed what the point of this whole exercise was. It's also sad that public educators have to grovel to people that are benefiting from an education and refusing to participate in something that, fairly or not, really does affect school funding.
 
2014-03-10 01:20:19 PM
I got this EXACT same run around when trying to opt my child out of ISAT (illinois equivalent). The ISAT is being phased out, and is in it's final year. My son is in 5th grade and would do 5th grade testing, but he's been doing 7th and 8th grade course work all year with great success. Why the hell would I want to test him at the 5th grade level?

His school threatened everything they could. Unexcused absences, not letting him even roll next year, holding him from extra curriculars. I had to have my lawyer call the school board to stop the harassment.
 
2014-03-10 01:20:40 PM
Are you allowed to write an article for Slate that isn't about the results of some questionable parenting decison you made, or questioning the parenting decision another person made?
 
2014-03-10 01:21:13 PM

ArcadianRefugee: FTA: while my husband and I definitely thought through our decision to opt our kids out, we consulted our guts, not research.

Imagine that: go into something half-cocked and then be bewildered when things go pear shaped.


Except, no one provided an adequate explanation of what her kids were getting out of it.  Isn't that the simple threshold?  Have a good reason to do things?
 
2014-03-10 01:21:24 PM
Well as long as 1 example = proof of a concept.
 
2014-03-10 01:21:49 PM
FTA:

My younger daughter experienced some serious test anxiety a couple of years back when taking Pennsylvania's standardized tests.

When I answered that I very much appreciated her call but was going to stick by my decision, she offered several reasons why my daughter should take the test.
 First, taking TCAP (, the relatively new set of state standardized tests) would help my daughter on the ACT. Huh. Given that she's only in seventh grade, I wasn't buying that one.

It is pretty well documented that taking tests makes you better at... tests.  And yes, starting earlier will help.  So, while the author pats herself on the back for biting her thumb at the testing industry, her daughter will suffer for it.  Especially for someone who may have previously experienced anxiety.  My money is that pressure came from Mom & Dad to begin with.
 
2014-03-10 01:22:09 PM

The My Little Pony Killer: More parents need to stand up and start doing this. Standardized testing is bullshiat. The kids know it, the teachers know it, and it disrupts actual learning they could be doing.


Perhaps, but as the article notes, protesting the system by opting out (unless you can get pretty much everyone to do it) only serves to hurt the school financially.

The big problem is in tying school funding with standardized testing, both participation and achievement.  Opting out won't correct this.
 
2014-03-10 01:23:19 PM

wxboy: The My Little Pony Killer: More parents need to stand up and start doing this. Standardized testing is bullshiat. The kids know it, the teachers know it, and it disrupts actual learning they could be doing.

Perhaps, but as the article notes, protesting the system by opting out (unless you can get pretty much everyone to do it) only serves to hurt the school financially.

The big problem is in tying school funding with standardized testing, both participation and achievement.  Opting out won't correct this.


Going along with it out of fear of the schools not receiving funding doesn't help it either. It only holds people hostage to a broken system.
 
2014-03-10 01:23:36 PM
You can mandate these stupid exams but not vaccinations?
How farked up is that?
 
2014-03-10 01:23:57 PM
These kids are already tested in each individual class they take.  This test has nothing to do with their progress and everything to do with funding and ranking the schools.

Bottom line is $$$$ for the school districts.
 
2014-03-10 01:24:03 PM
A child is being left behind!!
 
2014-03-10 01:24:08 PM
The author kind of rubs me the wrong way on this, but I'm not a fan of how far standarized testing has grown into being the nearly sole metric of value when it comes to educating our kids so maybe I'm relunctantly on her side?
 
2014-03-10 01:24:13 PM
So she opted he kids out for no reason other than she felt like it, and what happened was... nothing? A couple of phone calls and emails? Some AWing on Mom's part?

Jeeze, Overreactionmitter, from the headline I was expecting CPS involvement or an educational neglect charge at least.
 
2014-03-10 01:24:21 PM
"We aren't permanent Colorado residents-we're just here for one academic year"
"My younger daughter experienced some serious test anxiety a couple of years back "

I have some news for you lady.  Your constantly moving around for no real reason other than to make your resume look better as some sort of life achievement is doing FAR more harm than any standardized test every will.
 
2014-03-10 01:24:22 PM
we're just here for one academic year while I'm a visiting professor at the University of Denver. My daughters, ages 13 and 14, are strong students.

What kind of crappy parent bounces their kids in and out of a school for a year at this age?
 
2014-03-10 01:24:32 PM
Her response should have been, "well, she has these testing anxienty attacks and marks about one third of the answers as "E", and skips all the other questions.  Would like to take a minor hit on the participation percentage or a big hit on the score average?"
 
2014-03-10 01:24:56 PM

SmellsLikePoo: FTA:

My younger daughter experienced some serious test anxiety a couple of years back when taking Pennsylvania's standardized tests.

When I answered that I very much appreciated her call but was going to stick by my decision, she offered several reasons why my daughter should take the test. First, taking TCAP (, the relatively new set of state standardized tests) would help my daughter on the ACT. Huh. Given that she's only in seventh grade, I wasn't buying that one.

It is pretty well documented that taking tests makes you better at... tests.  And yes, starting earlier will help.  So, while the author pats herself on the back for biting her thumb at the testing industry, her daughter will suffer for it.  Especially for someone who may have previously experienced anxiety.  My money is that pressure came from Mom & Dad to begin with.


According to their missions, standardized testing experience should be helpful for the SAT, but less so for the ACT -- which ironically is more explicitly designed to replicate curriculum success.
 
2014-03-10 01:25:24 PM

ransack.: Are you allowed to write an article for Slate that isn't about the results of some questionable parenting decison you made, or questioning the parenting decision another person made?


Of course.  You can write an article about whether a school has made a questionable decision.
 
2014-03-10 01:25:28 PM

CruJones: That was a lot of effort to avoid her kids taking the tests.  I can see why she wouldn't go out of her way for the kids to take them, but that was a lot of work to avoid them.

Not worth it...


Well apparently the principal was tougher to shake than an Amway salesman. The school didn't offer much more than "but that's how we fill out paperwork normally! What will we do if the paperwork isn't filled out?"
 
2014-03-10 01:25:53 PM
doyner:

FTFA: "Deciding to opt my two daughters out of Colorado standardized testing seemed like a no-brainer. We aren't permanent Colorado residents-we're just here for one academic year1while I'm a visiting professor at the University of Denver. My daughters, ages 13 and 14, are strong students. My husband and I see no educational benefit2to the tests. My younger daughter experienced some serious test anxiety a couple of years back3when taking Pennsylvania's standardized tests."

1: So what?  Are they in the Colorado system or not?
2: They go on to admit that they did no research beforehand and were using their gut decider-style.
3: Boo farking hoo.  Life is hard.  Overcoming anxiety is a life skill.

Her decision was whimsical at best, and has potential reprocussions for others.  Yes, standardized tests have gone way too far, butshe comes nowhere close to adequately articulating a reasonable argument for this action.  To the contrary, she explains why it's probably not such a great idea.


While I agree with these points, they are counterbalanced by the fact that opting out was an option on the enrollment paperwork. Why make it an option, and then push so hard when someone takes that option?

The motivation of the principal is suspect. The author indicates that her daughters are strong students. It seems that the principal is intent on including strong scores to help push the curve of the school's scoring results.

Those are the things that bother me more than the points you mentioned.
 
2014-03-10 01:25:53 PM
Opting out denies the gubmint of the funding of the saggy titty meal system.
 
2014-03-10 01:26:04 PM
If only there were some way to overcome anxiety by practicing that thing you were anxious about....

Perhaps with test anxiety, taking practice tests might help? Like for example, taking a stupid meaningless standardized test as practice for tests that actually matter?

Mollycoddled kid is mollycoddled.
 
2014-03-10 01:26:11 PM

doyner: Benevolent Misanthrope: swaniefrmreddeer: What is she teaching her kids? If it's hard, don't worry mommy will take care of you. Her reasons/excuses are irrelevant, the school her kids attend has the test, then the kids should goddamned well take the the test. No wonder we have a whole generation of precious snowflakes.

1/10.  RTFA, asshole.

BM, I usually really like your posts, but hold on a second.

FTFA: "Deciding to opt my two daughters out of Colorado standardized testing seemed like a no-brainer. We aren't permanent Colorado residents-we're just here for one academic year1while I'm a visiting professor at the University of Denver. My daughters, ages 13 and 14, are strong students. My husband and I see no educational benefit2to the tests. My younger daughter experienced some serious test anxiety a couple of years back3when taking Pennsylvania's standardized tests."

1: So what?  Are they in the Colorado system or not?
2: They go on to admit that they did no research beforehand and were using their gut decider-style.
3: Boo farking hoo.  Life is hard.  Overcoming anxiety is a life skill.

Her decision was whimsical at best, and has potential reprocussions for others.  Yes, standardized tests have gone way too far, butshe comes nowhere close to adequately articulating a reasonable argument for this action.  To the contrary, she explains why it's probably not such a great idea.


Do parents have the right to opt their kids out or not? For now, yes. They shouldn't need a reason. I personally, after reading a lot of the literature, think that standardized testing merely perpetuates a broken system of education. If I had kids, I would probably keep them out of public schools and opt them out of standardized tests.

To my mind, though, the story is more about the attempt at a zero-tolerance policy toward non-conformity, not the test itself.
 
2014-03-10 01:26:40 PM
I could not help but compare this woman stricken with the vapors to the parent of a home schooled kid who just can't wait for their kid to take standardized tests to prove that their kid is learning. I'll also wager this woman is adamantly opposed to home schooling yet she certainly wants some of the benefits that home school parents have!

  I'm liberal myself but i can see by articles like this what people mean when they say "Liberals are weird."
 
2014-03-10 01:26:42 PM
i would just tell my kids to answer every question wrong on purpose.
 
2014-03-10 01:26:55 PM

jst3p: we're just here for one academic year while I'm a visiting professor at the University of Denver. My daughters, ages 13 and 14, are strong students.

What kind of crappy parent bounces their kids in and out of a school for a year at this age?


A university professor on sabbatical after getting tenure?
 
2014-03-10 01:27:12 PM

Tax Boy: If only there were some way to overcome anxiety by practicing that thing you were anxious about....

Perhaps with test anxiety, taking practice tests might help? Like for example, taking a stupid meaningless standardized test as practice for tests that actually matter?

Mollycoddled kid is mollycoddled.


It's almost as though people are choosing to ignore the fact that the standardized tests aren't the only way kids are being tested in schools...
 
2014-03-10 01:27:17 PM

error 303: The author kind of rubs me the wrong way on this, but I'm not a fan of how far standarized testing has grown into being the nearly sole metric of value when it comes to educating our kids so maybe I'm relunctantly on her side?


My previous posts belie that I'm with you on this. It helps that the students arent being raised by some religious ssovereign citizen.
 
2014-03-10 01:27:19 PM
And who gets text anxiety about a test that doesn't affect your grade?

I am not defending standardized testing, but I don't see how you get stressed about them.
 
2014-03-10 01:27:24 PM

The My Little Pony Killer: wxboy: The My Little Pony Killer: More parents need to stand up and start doing this. Standardized testing is bullshiat. The kids know it, the teachers know it, and it disrupts actual learning they could be doing.

Perhaps, but as the article notes, protesting the system by opting out (unless you can get pretty much everyone to do it) only serves to hurt the school financially.

The big problem is in tying school funding with standardized testing, both participation and achievement.  Opting out won't correct this.

Going along with it out of fear of the schools not receiving funding doesn't help it either. It only holds people hostage to a broken system.


There are other ways to do it.  If you can get ALL the parents at a school to opt out, then you send a message that will be heard.  Coordinate that with a media campaign and contacting legislators, and you might accomplish something.  A few parents pulling their kids out quietly doesn't do squat.
 
2014-03-10 01:27:49 PM
The author is an attention whore
 
2014-03-10 01:28:10 PM

ransack.: Are you allowed to write an article for Slate that isn't about the results of some questionable parenting decison you made, or questioning the parenting decision another person made?


So here's how publishing works:

If you publish an article that nobody finds interesting, you've wasted resources.
 
2014-03-10 01:28:48 PM

doyner: jst3p: we're just here for one academic year while I'm a visiting professor at the University of Denver. My daughters, ages 13 and 14, are strong students.

What kind of crappy parent bounces their kids in and out of a school for a year at this age?

A university professor on sabbatical after getting tenure?


I don't know the details of her situation but if you know you are only going to be there a year maybe dad and kids stay where you lived so they don't have to be uprooted? As someone else said, this seems far more detrimental to the kids than the damn test.
 
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