Friday, October 19, 2012

Opting out of standardized testing.

Photo credit: Diana Zavala for The New York Times
"Dear Teacher, Johnny Is Skipping the Test" from The New York Times this week is a fascinating article on some parents' approach to required standardized testing. While all the parents in this article have their children enrolled in public schools, I find it encouraging that they're taking a stand against the state and federal love-affair with standardized tests. We've talked a lot about standardized testing on this blog and its affects on educational focus and outcomes and I think that those unintended consequences are making their ways into peoples homes and that means people will start to notice.

I would love to hear your thought on standardized testing. What have your experiences been? Is it required for home educators in your state? Do you find it helpful for evaluating your students?

For those of you who missed it, Monday's blog entry was an encouragement to all of you who believe education is essential in the fight against ignorance and oppression. Your work is changing lives. 

And, as we had talked about writing a little bit ago, I thought you would enjoy this article from the Chronicle of Higher Education on the importance of written expression. 

October 19, 1765

The Stamp Act Congress, or First Congress of the United States,  drew up a Declaration of Rights and Grievances in response to the British Parliament's passage of The Stamp Act. This foundational even in American history does not get a lot of coverage but it was at this point that the American colonists expressed their unhappiness and disgust with their treatment at the hands of the British. It was in this document that the colonists demanded rights we barely even think about today such as:
  • No taxation without representation
  • Trial by jury
  • American colonists possessed the same rights as Englishmen
  • Parliament could not represent the colonies without granting them voting rights. 
To learn more about the Stamp Act and the early movements of the American Revolution, check out the following titles:

America's Paul Revere by Esther Forbes

Boys and Girls of Colonial Days by Carolyn Sherwin Bailey

The Forth of July Story by Alice Dalgliesh

Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes

Have a wonderful weekend! 

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