A while back, I expressed deep frustrations when I learned that I had been the topic of a faculty meeting at my son’s school— no one seemed to understand why I wanted to opt out of standardized tests. One teacher even expressed how useful these tests were and she didn’t seem to mind that these tests were used to hold teachers accountable. You can read about that here.
On top of that, I had written to each member of our Board of Education asking them to pass a resolution against high-stakes testing. The response left quite a lot to be desired, and you can read that here.
But I received an email that leaves me hopeful. One member of the Board of Education happens to be a friend of mine. As friend to friend, we have discussed my abhorrence of standardized tests on many occasions. I could never tell if she agreed with me, as she was always able to remain quite diplomatic about the whole thing (wish I had that gift)! I know she is a junior member of the board, and I’m quite certain that if she was on my side, she would have joined me in the minority.
The email that had rekindled some hope was from her. She sent me this link to an article that, to summarize, calls out some of the shortcomings of relying on standardized tests to judge both students and teachers. This email might not mean much to anyone else out there, but it means the world to me. It means that she too is thinking about testing beyond defending its usage. It means that she is seeing the evidence of their flaws and not just the “research” necessitating them. It means it is only a matter of time before this information extends beyond her and reaches more and more members of our community!
It’s a doorway. It’s a beginning. She gets it. I know it now!