As spring approaches we brace ourselves for the inevitable, controversial Common Core state testing that our children will endure. How can we help manage our children’s emotional well being through this difficult time? How much DO YOU KNOW about WHAT your children are being testing on? WHY are they being tested in this manner? However you may feel about the Common Core standards or the mandated assessments, it is important that we have a basic understanding of the testing and how to help ourselves and our children learn how to handle stress through this difficult time.
A brief history as to how and why our children are being tested…
In the 1990’s the United States educational policy makers made a change in the testing methodology to move beyond the normal multiple choice, fill in the bubble tests due to critical opinion about biased testing and a narrowing of the curriculum that was being taught. Their answer was to focus on alternative methods of assessment such as portfolios and open-ended tasks coupled with multiple-choice testing. While some of the new educational methods proved to narrow the ethnic and gender gaps, their outcome was mixed at best. It proved to be too expensive to implement and scoring was unreliable in portfolio assessments. This moved us to what is touted as the greatest US educational reform policy created, the 2001 No Child Left Behind Act. This legislation required states to adopt test-based statewide accountability systems, testing annually in reading, math and eventually science from grades 3 through 8, plus one year of high school. This is where the High Stakes testing that our children deal with today derives. It is a policy that is considered to focus on social reform rather than educational reform and is constantly under fire. Jonathan Supovitz, an associate professor at Penn Graduate School of Education and senior researcher for the Consortium for Policy Research in Education expands upon this detailing the history of our educational policy and the possible future of our country’s educational reform in “IS HIGH-STAKES TESTING WORKING?” – an article worth reading.
**It is worth noting that as recently as February 11, 2015, “a bill dubbed the Student Success Act [designed to change No Child Left Behind], passed on a party-line vote (21-16). It would significantly scale back the role of the federal government in overseeing public education, give states more flexibility in designing accountability systems and consolidate dozens of federal education programs. Block grant funding also would allow states to distribute federal money to districts and schools as they see fit. The bill is expected to move to the House floor in less than two weeks.” House Lawmakers Push ‘No Child’ Overhaul Forward, US News & World Report.
“High Stakes Testing” is at an all time high with the Common Core guidelines for curriculum. Stress is a part of our everyday lives for us and our children, and learning skills to help manage those stressors is an important life skill. Please join My Remarkable Self™ on March 4th from 7pm – 8:30pm at Rye Recreation, as we discuss and learn new skills to manage our worries was well as our children’s in an effort to help prepare them for the upcoming State Mandated Standardized tests. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for registration or for further details.
—Mary & Claire
Great articles to read:
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