All across Connecticut, today – and for much of the next two weeks – educational activities will come to a halt for Connecticut’s 570,000 students. In the state’s more than 1,100 schools, teachers will stop teaching and children will stop learning.
Instead, the attention of teachers and children will turn to the Connecticut Mastery Tests and the task of filling in bubbles.
Faced with a growing state deficit, state and local government are increasing taxes and cutting services….including some of the most vital and essential services provided by government.
However, over the next two weeks, approximately $30 million in Connecticut taxpayer funds will go to one of the nation’s largest for-profit testing companies to pay for these standardized tests, scoring these tests and the necessary profit that goes along with their “work.”
Add in the lost teaching time and overhead and Connecticut will be diverting at least $50 million away from its already underfunded public education system.
All this so that we can determine that, in fact, poverty, language barriers and the need for special education services continue to be the three single biggest factors in determining standardized tests scores.
With less poverty and language barriers, suburban students will do better.
With more poverty and language barriers, urban students will do worse.
Students who require special education services will perform better or worse depending, in part, on whether their districts are providing them with the services they need and deserve. And more often than not, the answer to that question depends on whether the local school districts have the funds necessary to properly cover special education costs.
So that is an expenditure of $50 million to tell us what we already know.
The only difference is that this year, if Governor Malloy and his administration, including Commissioner of Education Stefan Pryor have their way, the test results will then be used to punish teachers for factors that are clearly beyond their control.
In honor of this crime against our children, here are three (3) things to consider doing;
1) Sign the Parents Across America – Connecticut Chapter petition against the overuse of standardized testing: Reduce the use of Standardized Testing in Connecticut
2) Drop a note to Governor Malloy, Lt. Governor Wyman and Commissioner Pryor:http://www.governor.ct.gov/malloy/cwp/view.asp?a=3998&q=479082 http://www.ltgovernor.ct.gov/wyman/cwp/view.asp?a=4001&q=471414 [email protected] 3) Order yourself a Tested to Despair Bumper Sticker: See the link to the right of the Wait, What Blog or click on: TESTED TO DESPAIR BUMPER STICKERS