In California, it's billionaires vs. the PTA on testing 2nd graders

I’m sharing information from the Educated Guess forum (run by the reform-minded Silicon Valley Education Foundation). State standardized testing has been imposed on second-graders here in California for quite a few years – in the ’90s, standardized testing began at third grade. California state Sen. Loni Hancock (D-Berkeley) has sponsored a bill that would eliminate standardized testing for second-graders.

According to Educated Guess, the bill – backed by the California state PTA, the California School Boards Association, state Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson and the teachers’ unions – appeared to be moving forward successfully. Then the billionaire-funded so-called education reform operation Ed Voice spoke up to oppose it. Suddenly,  the bill was blocked by the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

Here’s what California state PTA Legislative Advocate Patty Scripter wrote in a June 2011 letter on behalf of the state PTA supporting the Hancock bill:

The California State PTA believes that an effective statewide assessment program should provide strategies for monitoring the consequences of assessments to ensure beneficial impact on teaching and learning, include assessment instruments that have been field tested, and provide scores that are valid and reliable. Standardized testing of second graders does not meet that criteria, rather yields unreliable data while creating stressful situations for our young children. The National Parent Teacher Association has long held the position that standardized multiple-choice tests…should never be used withearly elementary children for any purpose.”

I don’t yet know the lay of the political land on this particular issue and will add information when I get it.

I guess we shouldn’t be surprised that a billionaire-funded policy/advocacy group wields such clout that it immediately crushes the concerns of parents and teachers. When it’s the billionaires and corporate titans vs. the best interests of children, wealth and power have the upper hand — for now.

— Caroline Grannan, PAA Founding Member, San Francisco

Posted on by CarolineSF Posted in Uncategorized

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