Alex Kacsh and many other students are organizing to create several events for this school year. One of these events includes Take The Test, which they are hosting on October 19th at 3:00pm at Blair-Caldwell African American Research Library.
Corporate Education Reform is harming our nation’s children and destroying our communities. Neo-Liberal and Conservative policymakers across the country are using high-stakes standardized tests, in conjunction with Common Core State Standards, as a weapon against public schools in their endeavor to privatize them. Colorado State Senate Bill 191, backed by Obama’s self-defeating Race To The Top education policy is an unfunded mandate which requires schools to implement the TCAP (aka PARCC). After Governor Hickenlooper’s recent slashes to the K-12 Education budget, Colorado schools braced for austerity. Schools were forced to set aside millions for standardized tests while teachers and support staff were sent packing. Funds that would otherwise be allocated for technology and classroom materials were instead funneled into the pockets of private interests (e.g. Pearson and Educational Testing Service). The US Department of Education granted $186M to Pearson and ETS for the development of the PARCC, which will replace the TCAP for school year 2014-2015. In fact, the U.S. spends $1.7B annually on testing public school students.
High-stakes standardized tests are culturally-biased and are neither an accurate measure of student achievement nor teacher effectiveness. Despite sparse student buy-in, SB 191 stipulates that 50% of a teacher’s evaluation be based on aggregate data from these tests. This same data is also being used to commoditize students. As a result, students are forced to double-up on core classes and are placed in remedial courses which offer little exposure to higher-level thinking skills. Standardized tests devalue elective courses, thus creating attrition in world language, fine arts, and music programs.
Teachers, most of whom had little to no input in the test-creation process, are overwhelmingly teaching to the test in interest of professional preservation. Finally, test scores are used to promote charter school proliferation by closing public schools. The weaponization of high-stakes standardized tests is an abuse of power on behalf of our education policymakers and the Colorado Department of Education.
Students 4 Our Schools and Colorado Student Power Alliance are calling on the CDE and state policymakers to rescind SB 191, reject corporate education reform, and work with students, teachers, and school administrators to democratize our schools and to create an equitable, anti-oppressive curriculum accessible to all Colorado school-age children.
At the Take-the-Test event, students will be proctoring a test for adults comparable to those currently administered in public schools. 50 adults will take the test in person, and 50 will take the test online. Participants will take a pre- and post-survey and have the opportunity to see how they would score on today’s standardized assessments. Students are interested in discovering if the tests they are subject to actually assess learning that can be applied later in their academic, professional, and personal lives.
Denver students are seeking credentialed adults with Bachelor’s degree or higher who are currently employed. Adults can sign up at www.students4ourschools.org/takethetest. Students have extended an invitation to Colorado Department of Education officials and elected policymakers to take the test.
“This is just the beginning of the education revolution,” Kacsh states.
Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/533674326705816
Event information: www.students4ourschools.org/takethetest
For more information, please contact:
email@example.com | 720.232.1918