It feels hypocritical. Because the current testing regime makes me angry. Angry for students who are stressed by hours and hours of high stakes testing. Angry for teachers whose value has been discounted as anything other than test-prep machines. Angry for anyone who suffers the misguided consequences of using test results in ways that they were never intended – to prevent graduation and to fire capable teachers. Angry.
But the baby is far too precious to send the way of the bath water. I would be up in arms protesting and boycotting testing if it weren’t for one unassailable truth: state testing is how we know if our students are being educated to the same levels as those in other demographic and socio-economic groups. No Child Left Behind, amid all the horrific and counterproductive side effects, accomplished this one thing too important to ever give up: it shone a light on the disparity between the outcomes for kids of privilege versus kids of poverty and between white kids and kids of color.
As a mom, I cannot, will not, be a part of extinguishing this light.