Wednesday, October 18, 2006

"We just have to play along."

An insider's view of public education and the testing frenzy in our country,

What is happening is pandemic across the nation. Public education is under siege from state and federal politicos who are transforming what was once an arena of pure educational learning into a corporate state of testing.This allowed well -connected publishing companies to gorge themselves on public school dollars in a frenzied testing environment that has been sold as "accountability" to the unsuspecting public.

Local administrators are intimidated and fearful of losing money for their districts, maybe even losing their jobs if they resist.You can hear them saying submissively, "We just have to play along."

It isn't just the administrators, most parents just play along too. They're fearful that if they speak up against the idiocy of all the testing, their child's future will be in jeopardy. What they don't realize is that their child's future is in jeopardy because of all the testing.

As a aside, I visited with my state legislator for about half an hour on Monday. We chatted about many educational issues. He told me a few stories of parents who have made appeals to him for help with the hope that their children can be exempted from the test. Not surprisingly, their children are becoming visibly ill due to the stress caused by the elementary exam and the parents are concerned. I can understand their frustration, but why do they need their legislator's help? Just say no to the test. If enough parents say, "no," what can the state do? They're your children, you don't have to just "play along."

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