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NCLB Outrages

A teacher speaks out

Ohanian Comment: Kudos to a teacher willing to speak out--and sign her name.

Also kudos for being honest with her students. As Frank Smith observed long ago, sometimes educators find themselves in a situation of needing for children to do useless work but such work is far less damaging when educators are candid about the fact that it is useless. The real damage from statetesting comes from teachers convincing students that the tests are important.

by Karen Reed

I teach elementary school in South Carolina and have actually been considering going to law school to fight to have more of a voice against the testing atrocities that are occuring in our schools. Most teachers I talk to agree that high-stakes testing is not good for the children (PACT in my state's case) but no one seems to be doing much about it!

I want to find ways to make a difference and I am prepared to get a law degree to fight the morons who know nothing about what is best for children who are passing the laws. Who is in bed with these testing companies anyway? South Carolina spends between 10 and 15 million dollars on the PACT test.

We had our first of two weeks of testing this week and I have had students actually have panic attacks. I went so far as to tell a 5th grade student who could not stop crying that it was a dumb test created and scored by dumb people and that in ten years it will be so irrelevant what she scored. . . .

I feel I am being tortured and expected to torture my students with an invalid measure. The same student told me later after she had calmed down, "Don't they know that there are better ways to see a student's achievements."

I told her that when I finally get someone to listen to be about how absurd our culture of testing is that I will certainly be quoting her as a wise 5th grader who sees a light so many "intelligent" adults running our states and country are oblivious to.

— Karen Reed


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