Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Opting Out May be Education's Only Option

Hopefully the opt-out movement is (finally...) reaching a critical mass.  Large-scale (200 students) walkouts in Colorado and a recent article in the New York Times highlighting the grotesquely wasteful (ab)use of standardized tests are starting to make waves.  (I would have liked to see the NYT article go into more detail on the opportunity costs--60 to 80 days spent on testing per year!?!--of these tests, as I attempted to here.)  I see opting-out as the only real solution at this point, since both Republicans and Democrats have proven themselves to be utterly worthless (see:  No Child Left Behind, Race to the Top).

1.  Opting out devastates the school's ranking, especially if the good kids opt out.  (I hope/assume that this was encouraged by these high-achieving students and/or their parents.)  This in turn pressures the school board to do something--preferably/hopefully dropping these asinine ranking systems and in turn, their tests.

2.  As more students opt out, the easier it is to see the data being collected is not good data.  Hopefully people start to realize they're spending billions of dollars collecting data that's between dubious and worthless, again pressuring school boards--already strapped for cash--to jettison these tests.

2 comments:

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