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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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21840 clicks; posted to Main » on 10 Mar 2014 at 1:11 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-03-10 01:29:06 PM  

enderthexenocide: i would just tell my kids to answer every question wrong on purpose.


I don't know about this state but in mine if a child does poorly on standardized tests, academic intervention services become mandatory. So your kids would end up in remedial reading and math, whether they needed it or not.
 
2014-03-10 01:29:25 PM  

lostcat: 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.


I can agree with that analysis.  The gist of my critique is how weak of a standard-bearer this woman is.  There are certainly good reasons to buck the system, but she brings weak sauce.
 
2014-03-10 01:30:07 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.


You're Canadian. You have no idea how useless these tests are. They are created to test the teachers and the school, and show nothing whatsoever about the student.

However, because they are so important, schools only teach what might be on the test. Critical thinking? There's not a bubble for that, so let's not bother.

Art, music, philosophy? Nope. That's not on the test.

And when the school does badly on the test, they have to spend a ton of money on outside "educational consultants", which takes MORE money away from the school.

No Child Left Behind may be Bush's WORST domestic failure.
 
2014-03-10 01:30:24 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?


The fake lawyer, blog writing kind...

Standardized tests are bullshiat anyway. I've never needed to know that a train traveling west at 100 mph will meet a train traveling east at 100 mph in 30 minutes; as such calculations have been rendered meaningless by paired rail tracks.
 
2014-03-10 01:31:14 PM  

Benevolent Misanthrope: 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.


I'm not disagreeing with you.  I just thought the name calling towards swanie was a bit much in defense of a pretty weak argument by the author.
 
2014-03-10 01:31:35 PM  

bighairyguy: 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?"


When my son was doing the standardized testing, I told him it was all a joke as the school spent hours and hours teaching the test.

How to handle it?  "Hell kid, have fun.  Mark up the test all you want to fark with the results.  The only one who benefits from it is the school, not you."
 
2014-03-10 01:32:29 PM  
I never understood the hate for standardized tests.  Professional tests, certification tests, etc. are standardized.  Either you know it or you don't.  That is assuming the test itself isn't wrong, flawed, subjective, etc.
 
2014-03-10 01:32:36 PM  

what_now: 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.

You're Canadian. You have no idea how useless these tests are. They are created to test the teachers and the school, and show nothing whatsoever about the student.

However, because they are so important, schools only teach what might be on the test. Critical thinking? There's not a bubble for that, so let's not bother.

Art, music, philosophy? Nope. That's not on the test.

And when the school does badly on the test, they have to spend a ton of money on outside "educational consultants", which takes MORE money away from the school.

No Child Left Behind may be Bush's WORST domestic failure.


Have to agree. Last night my GF was preparing bags of fruit snacks for her sons class today because they have a rotation of moms to provide TCAP snacks this week. Why isn't their comfort as important when they are actually learning shiat?
 
2014-03-10 01:33:10 PM  

iheartscotch: Standardized tests are bullshiat anyway. I've never needed to know that a train traveling west at 100 mph will meet a train traveling east at 100 mph in 30 minutes; as such calculations have been rendered meaningless by paired rail tracks.

because "they bought their tickets, I say let 'em crash"
 
2014-03-10 01:33:43 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?


My thoughts exactly.
Finish your doctorate in five years, you selfish biatch. Your life is about your KIDS right now.
 
2014-03-10 01:34:31 PM  

doyner: 2: They go on to admit that they did no research beforehand and were using their gut decider-style.



There is no educational benefit to the student with these sorts of tests. It's merely a metric to evaluate how well the school meets a certain criteria.
 
2014-03-10 01:35:43 PM  
Smeggy Smurf: I never understood the hate for standardized tests.  Professional tests, certification tests, etc. are standardized.  Either you know it or you don't.  That is assuming the test itself isn't wrong, flawed, subjective, etc.

Not surprised given your posting history. My beef with them has been mostly covered already and you either didn't read them or just don't get them.

You may not agree with them, but criticisms of standardized tests are easy to find:

http://fairtest.org/whats-Wrong-standardized-tests
 
2014-03-10 01:35:50 PM  

The My Little Pony Killer: 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...


That's at least 3 independent thought alarms in this thread. Willie, make all the farkers use gray computers.
 
2014-03-10 01:36:23 PM  
FTA: "The test results, she said, reward teachers by showing them that they are doing a good job. My reaction: And seeing their students' progress doesn't? "


Listen arshole, most teachers love to see their students succeed.  But states like to see test scores that prove kids are learning and then the states supply money to schools.  It's a BS system brought on by No Child Left Behind, but its the system state schools are in.
 
2014-03-10 01:36:36 PM  
4.bp.blogspot.com
 
2014-03-10 01:37:00 PM  
I was expecting a thrilling finish to this exciting read....nothing.


/who the hell cares
 
2014-03-10 01:37:53 PM  

give me doughnuts: doyner: 2: They go on to admit that they did no research beforehand and were using their gut decider-style.


There is no educational benefit to the student with these sorts of tests. It's merely a metric to evaluate how well the school meets a certain criteria.


Then make your argument from THAT angle, not from the blind-squirrel-finds-a-nut angle.
 
2014-03-10 01:38:20 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.


Doesn't sound to me like Mommy is sheltering the kids. It seems to me like the parents are self absorbed assholes. I am not a particular fan of standardized testing either, but the way this reads it seems like those parents are in it for themselves. I pity the children.
 
2014-03-10 01:39:10 PM  

The My Little Pony Killer: 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.


Because "I try to not shelter my kids so they develop some sort of spine" (right or wrong as that approach may be) equals "my livelihood depends on standardized testing".

As doyner notes above,

she gave three reasons for opting her kid out of testing: one was meaningless ("we're just here for one academic year") and one was sheltering her little snowflake from the real world ("My younger daughter experienced some serious test anxiety"); only the third ("My husband and I see no educational benefit to the tests") has any real substance, and even then she admits that that reasoning was purely anecdotal and based on nothing factual ("we consulted our guts, not research").

She may have chosen the correct end result (or not), but her entire thought process -- her "logic" -- was so flawed as to be laughable. In that, she definitely taught her daughter a poor lesson: do what you feel is right; to hell with the facts. If you have a problem, don't try to conquer it: avoid it.

As Wikipedia puts it, "Standardized tests are useful tools for assessing student achievement, and can be used to focus instruction on desired outcomes, such as reading and math skills.[15] However, critics feel that overuse and misuse of these tests harms teaching and learning by narrowing the curriculum."

In that it is like Comic Sans: it has its place, and it has its use; the danger is in using it for everything and especially where it is inappropriate.

The vitriol in this thread is amazing ("Asshole"? "Go kill yourself"?) and I don't want to seem out of place, so let me end this with "You're kind of an ignorant twat."

:)
 
2014-03-10 01:39:36 PM  

ransack.: 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?

My thoughts exactly.
Finish your doctorate in five years, you selfish biatch. Your life is about your KIDS right now.


Shame on her for earning money to pay for food, chothing, and shelter for her children.
What a monster. As is everyone else who has ever moved for a job, and disrupted the lives of their delicate little hothouse flowers.
 
2014-03-10 01:39:38 PM  

KyngNothing: http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/medical_examiner/201 3 /07/living_with_anxiety_and_panic_attacks_academia_needs_to_accommodat e_mental.html

The author's other slate article...


Well shiat. I don't need to read the article to know where that is going. My dad was a college professor. It got worse in the 90s when lots of kids would tell him "i don't test well." His response was "well, there are a lot of tests in college and life, so I guess you need to cope somehow."
 
2014-03-10 01:39:49 PM  
FARK's Hypocrisy

1) Parents who don't force their kids to do what is mandated by the schools are helicopter parents raising snowflakes.

2) The government is facelss machine that no one would show bow to.

3) People who do what is mandated for them are cookie-cutter people who live in cubicle farms and are miserable.

4) People shouldn't be forced to do things just because, and anyone who stands up to that is a hero.
 
2014-03-10 01:40:06 PM  
wxboy:
The big problem is in tying school funding with standardized testing, both participation and achievement.  Opting out won't correct this.

^^^This all day long.

Honestly, if the entire system were swapped it would make more sense.  Oh, this school sucks? Well then, send in some kind of specialist and fund them to correct the problems they have.  As far as I can tell they aren't using the information to solve any kind of problems, they just fling money at the better schools
 
2014-03-10 01:40:28 PM  
Our state has done standardized testing for decades.  As far as I can tell, all it does is teach to the lowest common denominator and waste time.

To add to the matter, the tests were never the same.  Every year or so a problem would be found and tests would be changed, dropped, or new subjects were added.  Originally, it was a joke.  Teachers would make up fake pupils each year and fill out questions randomly for shiats and giggles.  Now their jobs are based on it.  Really?

As an example, I point to the last essay question on the Social Studies test: "What was the impact of this letter? [Nixon's resignation letter follows]".

How would you answer that?  Where would you start or end?  How open ended should you make it?  Would "He resigned and was replaced by Ford" be an acceptable answer?  Would you discuss the change in media's handling of the chief executive?  Would you discuss the paranoia of government at the time?

The tests were bad.  I had a number of people in my class who were national merit scholars, but did not score the highest ranking on the different subject tests.  They were just fatally flawed.  And we're gearing to make them have more influence on the schools.

I applaud her for taking her kids out of them for whatever the reason.  If more parents did this, we'd kick some sense into the politicians' sociopathic brains.
 
2014-03-10 01:40:42 PM  
I can sum up the school's side of that entire episode with one quote from the article:

"Joyce Zurkowski, the executive director of assessment, explained to me that, in Colorado, as long as a school has 95 percent participation, a kid's opting out has no effect at all on school funding."

If people wonder what was going through the minds of the school's administration... that was it. Funding.
 
2014-03-10 01:41:12 PM  
Author rubs me the wrong way big time.  Who the fark cares if your little snow flake takes one more test?
 
2014-03-10 01:41:33 PM  
I'm in the "take the damn tests and don't be an attention craving article writing parent" camp. If the kid is freaking out tell them to just go ABCD in the bubbles or write down random stuff.

/stop moving the kids around. you're not in the military.
 
2014-03-10 01:42:02 PM  

give me doughnuts: ransack.: 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?

My thoughts exactly.
Finish your doctorate in five years, you selfish biatch. Your life is about your KIDS right now.

Shame on her for earning money to pay for food, chothing, and shelter for her children.
What a monster. As is everyone else who has ever moved for a job, and disrupted the lives of their delicate little hothouse flowers.


She is teaching in Denver and living in Boulder for a year. She isn't desperate to take any job she can.
 
2014-03-10 01:42:22 PM  
Get in line good citizen and STFU!  It's the new mantra of the left.
 
2014-03-10 01:44:18 PM  
Teaching the kids to fight the power might be the most valuable lesson they ever learn.
 
2014-03-10 01:44:48 PM  
Fark headline made me believe something interesting happened, instead the parents were just asked a bunch of times nicely to have their kids take it.  I don't like standardized tests either but that was a lot of words about nothing.
 
2014-03-10 01:47:02 PM  
She is only there for a year, who cares?

Probably in a weak school and they were counting on her daughter pulling up the school average.
 
2014-03-10 01:47:07 PM  
She didn't know much about standardized testing, saw it was voluntary and opted out, she saw it as no big deal.  Then she got pressured to change her mind.  At that point, she stopped being a mom and turned on lawyer mode.  To her, changing her decision was equal to losing the argument and the principal getting his way.  This had nothing to do with standardized testing, it was all about her own personality trait of not wanting to give in.
 
2014-03-10 01:47:20 PM  

CokeBear: Teaching the kids to fight the power might be the most valuable lesson they ever learn.


I agree. I try to teach my kids to challenge everything, a little.

CSB

My daughter was 8 and the following conversation happened:

"What did you do in school today?"
"We learned about probability."
"Great! So if I flipped a coin, what is the probability that it will land on heads?"
"50% chance or one in two."
"OK, let's say I flipped the coin 100 times and it came up heads each time. What is the probability that it will come up heads the next time?"
"Pretty good."
"Oh? Why?"
"I know you Daddy, if you flipped a coin 100 times and it came up heads every time it has heads on both sides."
 
2014-03-10 01:48:31 PM  
Do you know how you "stand up to" standardized testing?  You STOP ELECTING THE ASSHOLES THAT INSIST IT IS THE ONLY WAY to blah blah blah...

/As long as the checks from Pearson keep clearing the politicians dont give damn what you think about standardized testing.
 
2014-03-10 01:48:35 PM  

Lumbar Puncture: Fark headline made me believe something interesting happened, instead the parents were just asked a bunch of times nicely to have their kids take it.  I don't like standardized tests either but that was a lot of words about nothing.


Try to imagine the school board as the guys selling timeshares on the skiing episode of southpark
 
2014-03-10 01:49:05 PM  
Standardized testing is a lot like tipping; it sucks and no one wants to do it but it's the world we live in.

\completely serious, really.
 
2014-03-10 01:52:07 PM  

what_now: 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.

You're Canadian. You have no idea how useless these tests are. They are created to test the teachers and the school, and show nothing whatsoever about the student.

However, because they are so important, schools only teach what might be on the test. Critical thinking? There's not a bubble for that, so let's not bother.

Art, music, philosophy? Nope. That's not on the test.

And when the school does badly on the test, they have to spend a ton of money on outside "educational consultants", which takes MORE money away from the school.

No Child Left Behind may be Bush's WORST domestic failure.


Wut?

Standardized tests were around waaaay before W.

Also, No Child Left Behind was a great idea; on paper. I mean, come on, who wouldn't want to make sure that kids aren't left in the educational dust? But, like every social program in the last 50 years, it had the exact opposite effect as desired and lined the pockets of the obscenely wealthy.

I do agree that standardized tests are pointless .
 
2014-03-10 01:52:15 PM  
Things No Child Left Behind did right:
Special Education Students that are behind the curve get the personalized instruction that they need, and forces the regular teachers to actually help ensure that they are learning.
The Special needs students also get to be included in the regular class room more frequently, and are shown by example normal social interactions every day.

Things No Child Left Behind did incorrectly:
Everything else, including creating behavioral disorders as a special needs category.

I like taking tests(especially standardized ones), but I don't like how they're being made mandatory. If you're a parent, you should be able to have a say in what your kid has to do, within reason.
 
2014-03-10 01:52:27 PM  

van1ty: Author rubs me the wrong way big time.  Who the fark cares if your little snow flake takes one more test?


Parents in the same situation.

You are not the demographic for EVERYTHING in this world.  I really wish people would stop assuming they are.
 
2014-03-10 01:52:45 PM  
Mommy is a prof, but she's never heard of practice tests etc. to help her kid cope/learn to do tests?

Mommy the prof is a (politically incorrect term ahead) 'tard.
 
2014-03-10 01:52:50 PM  

Benevolent Misanthrope: 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.


What would opting them out of the test accomplish?  Are you afraid that they are not up to par and want to stick your head in the sand about it?  It's not like they are going to change their entire curriculum because your snowflake doesn't want to take the test.
 
2014-03-10 01:52:50 PM  
What gets me from all this was the principal running after them as they were about to drive away. Even cult members and sales pitches from MLMs aren't that insistant.
 
2014-03-10 01:53:32 PM  

Gary-L: bighairyguy: 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?"

When my son was doing the standardized testing, I told him it was all a joke as the school spent hours and hours teaching the test.

How to handle it?  "Hell kid, have fun.  Mark up the test all you want to fark with the results.  The only one who benefits from it is the school, not you."


My high school had standardized test scores determine who gets on campus parking.  And reduced or free prom bids for good scores.  And small prizes and coupons for those who give a "good faith effort"
 
2014-03-10 01:54:03 PM  

iheartscotch: Standardized tests were around waaaay before W.


Yes, but they weren't as directly tied to funding in every state.iheartscotch:

Also, No Child Left Behind was a great idea; on paper. I mean, come on, who wouldn't want to make sure that kids aren't left in the educational dust? But, like every social program in the last 50 years, it had the exact opposite effect as desired and lined the pockets of the obscenely wealthy.
 
2014-03-10 01:54:10 PM  

dwrash: Get in line good citizen and STFU!  It's the new mantra of the left.those in power.


FTFY
 
2014-03-10 01:54:16 PM  
Is it just me, or does anyone else here see the irony in someone who teaches Law at the People's Republic of Boulder and writes for Slate whining about government intervention in how she wants to raise her children?
 
2014-03-10 01:55:48 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.

On the plus side, I did get to literally fark around during the last two years of primary schooling due to this crap.


They do, but not in this way.  The damage isn't the actual test the damage is that teachers are forced to "teach the test" and spend countless hours preparing the kids for the test.

So yea, she opted her kids out of something they spend a large part of the year preparing for.

Also she is an educator herself and just makes decisions about stuff
like this with zero research?  Exactly the person who is part of the problem, not the solution.
 
2014-03-10 01:55:58 PM  

lostcat: 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.


So here's how internet publishing works. It doesn't matter if people find the article interesting or not if you can sucker people into clicking on the link and creating page views.

I got suckered, read both pages, and was put off when the author changed gears from "I want to opt my kids out of testing that i don't deem valuable" to "My one person crusade doesn't make a difference".

Which one was it? An innocent bid to get your kids out of testing or an organized bid to bring standardized testing in to the lime light and really make a difference? I don't know anyone outside of state/federal levels of education that is pro-standardized testing, and i have a suspicion that those people are pawns for Pearson.
 
2014-03-10 01:56:04 PM  
If your child is a student at School X, then that means she participates in everything the school does. You don't get to introduce some mock equivalency about what you will and won't let her do based on the fact that it's a one-year assignment to this school. She may be a strong student, but you're manipulating her interpretation of what it means to be a student by giving her a bye on things you don't deem important. What else do you think she shouldn't have to do? Take the President's Challenge Physical Fitness test? Go on a field trip to a local museum? Follow the dress code?

"No, honey, you're only here for a year. You're special. If you don't want to do those things, you don't have to. Mommy will call and take care of it."

Lady, you're not doing your kid any favors.
 
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