If your swamped with your own teaching responsibilities, you might not have followed some of the news — for example the latest chapter in how teacher voice has made a difference in New York, where new state tests have had a disastrous roll-out. First, check out some of the thousand responses that Lucy Calkins received from teachers when she set up a website to gather them. Smart kids crying and concluding they’re stupid, questions that could have various right answers, confusing multiple materials booklets, not enough time to do well, but too much time spent altogether, inappropriate reading levels, etc., etc.
Criticism rose from parents, teachers, principals, superintendents. The state education commissioner, John King was shouted down at a hearing and cancelled further sessions. But now he’s back-pedalling, reducing the testing somewhat, but not addressing the main issues –yet. Here’s one news account in a local Brooklyn paper.
It’s unfortunate, though, that the hue and cry came so late in the game, with teachers and kids really suffering before the voices grew strong and numerous enough. So are the rest of us going to wait until similar new tests arrive in our own states — and then try to overturn them after the fact?
Just trying to say why it is that teachers need to be speaking up NOW.
Teacher advocacy, Teacher Voice
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