Social media like Twitter, Facebook, etc makes the organization of a parent/teacher/student revolt against standardized testing a realistic possibility.Want to get policy makers attention and actually get significant changes out into action? A nationwide refusal of parents to subject their kids to testing would most definitely do the trick. It's fascinating to think about the possibilities. Imagine what people/protesters who lived through the civil rights movement and the Vietnam war would have accomplished had there been social media. This could very well be a defining moment for our generation. I recently posted Tony Wagner's take on standardized testing...
The problem with Common Core is not coddled kids; it is high-stakes testing. And the anxiety that kids feel is not from their parents but rather from their teachers, who fear for their jobs.
We can have high academic standards without high anxiety. In Finland, which is the best performing education system in the world, the first high-stakes test that kids take is the high school matriculation exam, which they have between two and four years to prepare for "their choice: and can retake if they are not satisfied with the results. Kids are assessed continuously in class, and get feedback that urges them to do better, but it is not high stakes. Grades are played down.
If we want Common Core to succeed, we have to dial back the high-stakes testing, and test only sample populations every few years. Otherwise, what we are going to get is just more teaching to the test, squeezing out of the curriculum everything that is not on the test and undoing whatever value Common Core may have.
Cambridge, Mass., Nov. 24, 2013
The writer is a fellow at the Technology and Entrepreneurship Center at Harvard and the author of "The Global Achievement Gap."