There are multiplying voices of teachers and others against new tests. So which do you want first, the good news or the bad? OK, how about sandwiching the bad between the more positive stories.
Let’s start with Michelle Gunderson’s lovely piece on teaching first graders to be thoughtful young people — showing what school should really be about. Featured in Anthony Cody’s blog, “Living in Dialogue,” Gunderson describes how she provides sensitive guidance for two boys to apologize to a girl they insulted, while the girl asks how to respond, in “I don’t know what to say next. Please help?”
Then there’s the in-depth inquiry by Meredith Broussard in the Atlantic on how the total lack of resources in Philadelphia schools insures that teachers won’t have the Pearson-published textbooks needed for kids to succeed on the badly designed Pearson-created PARCC tests — an abomination inside an abomination when you think about it. If you wondered how poor and minority students are being ripped off by the powers that be, this will help you understand.
Finally, here’s a great collection of recent articles, blogs, essays, and presentations by teachers, students, news reporters, and others on the growing backlash against standardized testing, and the many ways it is undermining schools, teachers, and children’s education. Nancy Patterson provides the listing in the 3rd post, after one by Kimberly Feldman and a reply by me, in a discussion about teacher voice on the NCTE Education Policy Forum. Of course the testing problems described are awful, but it’s very hopeful to hear the growing voices denouncing them.