Blog Archive

Thursday, June 21, 2012

A Ramble, Regarding STARR(the latest testing regime)







From the last link:” How can parents opt their children out of testing?

Chapter 26 of the Texas Education Code gives parents the right to remove their child from any activity that the parent believes is immoral or against their religious beliefs.

At Texas Parents Opt Out, we believe that high-stakes testing is immoral. Ten years of No Child Left Behind legislation have generated mountains of research on the negative effects of high-stakes testing.

Studies show what parents already suspected, that standardized testing:

Produces anxiety and depression.

Kills curiosity and children's desire to learn.

Narrows the curriculum.

Wastes valuable educational time.

If you believe that standardized testing is harming your child or depriving him or her of a quality education, and if you believe that current Texas laws concerning the 15 percent rule might harm your child's future educational opportunities, please join us by opting out of the STAAR tests.

It's your right.

Chamness is the director of Texas Parents Opt Out;”

My precocious 10-year old is suffering from Anxiety. He’s inherited my High-Strung, but Powerful Mind…but this Anxiety has a specific Cause…over and above genetics.
These damned Tests. No child left behind(sic) has been an abject Failure. Ask a Teacher. Ask a Kid. Ask a Superintendent.
The Starr test is just the latest “Product” foisted on Texas Students, under NCLB…an “education initiative” promoted and sold by our least intelligent President, almost 10 years ago.

I spent some time this morning, perusing the TEA’s website regarding Staar. It appears that the site is designed to confuse…designed to obfuscate.
Coded Language, Esoteric Jargon. PDF’s everywhere(Pearson Ed’s Parent owns Adobe, as well).
Even Complex Ideas can be Boiled Down, to their simplest core.
I can give a five minute exegesis on Einstein’s Theory of Gravity, using a bed sheet. You will come away with an understanding of 4 dimensional Spacetime.
This could have been done with the explanations of Starr; the whys, hows and whats,….the Meat of it…what are we after?

I can find No Meat on the TEA’s website.
Pearson’s relevant Webpage appears to keep whatever Meat they possess safely behind a Paywall….what is readily available, both at Pearson and the TEA, is a forest of Jargon..thickets of Links and PDF’s…none of which appear to actually Say Anything.
Corporate Word Salad.
This is indictment, enough.
I , along with every other Parent, am all for Testing and Assessment.
However, I think it’s important to do so Rationally and Openly.
If there is Reason behind all this mess, that my kids spend 75% of their School Time on…if there’s Reason, I cannot find it.

My Wife is an ESL Teacher. As an interested and intelligent Husband, I have the opportunity to read all the Behind the Scenes Material…the myriad handouts and “Work Books”.
I understand that specific Professions, (or Disciplines, as they used to be called) have a need for somewhat Specialised Language…I get it. Archaeologists, Accountants, Lawyers…all have their Jargon.
What I have found, in my lifelong Journey to Understanding, is that almost none of these Specialised Languages are Incomprehensible.
A few days reading the relevant Texts can give one an at least cursory Understanding of a given Field.
This is NOT what I find in all the Education Science materials that cross my Wife’s desk.
There’s very little “There”, there.(the other Fields, of course,are Congressional Legalese….and Corpspeak…designed to actually impart as little information as possible, in as many words as possible)


6% of students is all that’s required to invalidate the tests, and send a big Middle Finger to our Legislative Whores.(refute, if ya think that’s too coarse!)

It appears to have already happened..the Corporate Takeover of PubEd…stealthily, while we were worried about Terrists, and Jobs.

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