Yesterday, I reported on the Holshouser Legislators Retreat 2015. This was an invitation only event with various NC educrats, legislators, “non-profits” and businesses discussing your child’s education future without you – again.
One tweet I left out of the previous story was from the President of the Council of Chief State School Officers. Folks in North Carolina know her as the NC State Superintendent, June Atkinson.
Dr. Atkinson tweeted this question out at the Holhouser event:
With choice, should homeschool & private school students have to take the same tests as public school students? If no, why not? #HLR2015
— June Atkinson (@DrJuneAtkinson) January 12, 2015
What tests is she referring to exactly? Students in North Carolina, regardless of their ‘school choice’, are tested at various points. The point of choosing one education route over another to avoid standardized testing is gaining momentum.
Dr. Atkinson is couching a narrative in her question and being a bit intellectually dishonest with tying ‘school choice’ to public school accountability measures. Notice she doesn’t mention charter schools? [Flashback: Atkinson and ‘Schools of Terror’]
This question of Atkinson’s is arguably about casting homeschool and private school in a bad light because they pull students (and revenue) away from public schools. Also, we can’t have kids escaping the public system and having various data sets collected now can we?
School choice is about the student and their family having the opportunity to choose the best educational option for them, usually outside of the public school system. That choice could be homeschool, private school or charter school. The three can be, and often are, very different in a variety of ways. The choice made by the parents and students is also multi-faceted. Arguably, all three ‘school choice’ options mentioned here are different from public school in just as many ways.
If Dr. Atkinson is attempting to make the argument that part of the ‘school choice’ made by parents and students needs to fit into a one-size-fits all public school testing regimen, she’s missed the point of ‘choice’ entirely.
UPDATE: State task force recommends ending end-of-grade testing
Atkinson is quoted:
The beauty of this proposal is giving great empowerment to school districts and teachers,” Atkinson said. “It gets it back to a place where we have balance.
“We do not have balance (right now).”
But let’s subject homeschoolers to public tests, right?
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Now they all want to go after homeschoolers. Department of Education secretary Arne Duncan wants our kids for his indoctrination centers. The big question is will he allow parents visitation? His plan is insane! He says first that the Common Core is about “social justice.” He then says the schools should be open 12-13-14 hours a day, 6 or 7 days a week, that the schools need to feed kids breakfast, lunch and dinner. He thinks kids should be in school 12 months out of the year, not 9. Wow! Wouldn’t that make every child effectively an orphan?
He even says kids need less recess, less play time, less fun time and more class time. Learn, learn, learn, that’s what it’s all about. The man is rigorously nuts. This is exactly why people begin to see the communal socialistic communistic aspects of public education and this administration — especially with the roll out of the Common Core, because those defending it and explaining it use progressive terms and have utopian visions that says to parents “we know better what your kid needs than you do.” And we are going to force our will on you!
A teacher from my state recently reported that her district was giving 14 standardized tests + prep tests and preparations for said tests. Thanks ladyliberty! btw: Why 1885?
14? Whoa. That’s more than I’ve seen elsewhere.
Sounds like individual districts in some states might be piling on their own choice tests on top of state required ones.
Why the 1885?
There were a lot of “Lady Liberty” blogs, pages etc out there when I started blogging, so I wanted to differentiate a bit. I chose the year the Lady got a place to stand, quite literally. I should probably link this info in my about page. Read about it:
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Hmmmm. … taking the same tests could require using the same curriculum (aka Common Core)
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students who are home educated are tested every year by law, which is more than public school students.
Each district has multiple tests it gives in any given year. There is overlap and overtesting.
This year even kindergarteners are being “assessed”.
yes, and home educators already had to have kindergarteners tested. I didn’t mind, it was an assessment on how they learned and I adjusted my teaching style to meet their needs.
That’s fine, but wouldn’t you rather choose yourself what starting assessment you use?
This is not necessarily true. In my state we do not have to submit to standardized testing and it will vary from state to state.
That said, standardized tests are a truly terrible way to measure progress in a school setting that is designed around how a child learns. For that matter, any number of variables can affect a test result from a child being ill or tired, to not wanting to take the test, to just not doing well under testing pressure. It is just all around a poor indicator of how the student is doing. A parent who is heavily involved in the day to day aspects of a child’s education is a much better indicator of how a child is doing. Are there some parents who won’t do a good job? Sure. Are there some teachers who cheat on test scores so that they get a better rating. Sure. Testing homeschoolers does nothing to improve the homeschool experience and quite frankly, most of us who homeschool do so because we don’t believe the state has any claim on our children’s education.
Not all states require that home educated children be tested.