Thursday, October 30, 2014

Who's Got Big B@lls? @PegwithPen @motherafrika have BIG B@lls? #donoharm

Four years ago when I decided that my son Luke would not take NCLB mandated high stakes tests I never had any idea that a simple act of "refusal" would introduce me to the most amazing group of friends—who are also kick ass activists!

It's one thing to "opt out" your own child from high stakes testing.  However, as a public school teacher, refusing to administer the high stakes tests designed to destroy the American public education system requires  (excuse the sexism) "big b@lls."

Peggy Robertson and Ceresta Smith you are my heroes!  

Peggy Roberston

Dear Citizens of Colorado,

I am a teacher in the Aurora Public School District. I am writing to let you know that I will 

be refusing to administer the PARCC in the 2014-2015 school year. I do not stand alone in 

my refusal of this high stakes test. I join the ranks of educators across the country who are 

fighting back against policies and mandates that ultimately harm our children and destroy 

our children’s opportunities to become confident, active, problem solving citizens.

I have watched the testing increase over my 18 years of teaching in the public schools. I 

have watched what it has done to my ability to meet children’s needs and to allow children 

the opportunities to engage in learning that is authentic – learning that furthers the purpose

 of these children’s lives. This year, in particular, I am watching an onslaught of common 

core curriculum infiltrate our schools, along with additional tests and test prep to add to the 

test load which permeates every minute of every school day.

Read More!

Ceresta Smith

After careful consideration, I have decided not to issue the MDCPS district interim writing test. The test consists of several non-fiction reading passages that are followed by a prompt that requires students to a write multi-paragraph argument. It is not clear if this assessment is a result of ignorance in regards to the writing process or the result of forced culpability, as Florida did pay the state of Utah 5.4 million dollars for their state standardized tests that incorporate Common Core State Standards.[1]  Florida leaders, in their rush to have "tests" in which to hold educators, schools, and students "accountable" via a dubious and punitive evaluation system, opted not to wait until Florida assessments were created and properly vetted via a pilot and peer review process. Whatever might be the cause, the result is an assessment that leaves most students in a compromised position with little choice but to engage in pervasive plagiarism. It is faulty pedagogy at best and liable to litigation at worse.  Therefore, I will not engage in actions that will result in leading students down a wrong path that can ultimately cause them harm and penalty. 

[1] Woods, B. (2014, April 7). Florida to pay Utah $5.4M for Common Core test rental. Retrieved from

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