Books are Enough

The Power of Free, Self-Selected Reading

Florida Testing Party

Diverting billions to testing is nothing new in Florida- and around the nation. Despite the fact that states with more high stakes testing do not score better on NAEP- states plunder ahead and pilfer tax dollars to give to testing companies.

Florida has gone on a bender with special “End of Course” exams for many classes- with more on the way. If kids do not pass these tests they do not get credit. Of course to get ready for these tests there are diagnostic tests for each one. Yes! We have a testing party so put on your hats.

Wait a tick. I thought teachers made final exams already? Well we cannot trust them can we? What if we paid teachers to make THEIR exams and not Pearson? Last year it took over two weeks to give just one ONE end of course exams. Remember, more are on the way.

You see in Florida (Flor-i-duh) learning does not matter. It is all about paying off the testing companies, creating a false crisis, manipulating DATA and changing rules several times a year. The process of learning and exploring and having fun have been replaced with mind-numbing (endless) testing.

The legislature even gave the College Board over ONE MILLION dollars to force kids to take the PSAT during the school day. Yes, another day of instruction lost. But hey- It is a party right?

Palm Beach County might be party central in Florida. Students there are being forced to take the SAT during the school day. Surprise! Another raise for the College Board. I just spoke to a high school student in that county and they showed me their testing schedule for the first quarter.  You let me know how much teaching is going on.

Week of  9-4

Diagnostic Testing over THREE DAYS in Reading, Math, Science (Required by state)

Week of 10-1

Thursday: ePAT –   (45min)      Required by state

Week of 10-8

Monday:  Math- (all day)  Required by state

Tuesday: Reading: (3.5hours)  Required by state

Wednesday: Reading: (3.5 hours)   Required by state

Thursday:  FAIR Test-  Required by district

Week of 10-15

Wednesday: PSAT (3 hours) “Required”  by district

*Note: This test should be optional but schools are forcing all kids to take it in 10th grade and charging other kids to take it. The state refused my request to make districts inform kids and parents that the test is optional.

Just remember that about 1000 colleges have gone SAT/ACT optional. These tests do not have anything to do with college ready. As states and districts keep feeding the test machine there is no evidence that massive testing does a bit of good.  I guess if you kick a mule long and hard enough- it will move.

When will we stop this malpractice? Parents, students and teachers must take dramatic action.

PS: Common Core is on the way. It is more testing than ever seen on this planet. God have mercy on our souls.

 

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