Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Education Reform: Parent Action Spreads

The highlights indicate the States where parent organizing against teaching to the test are in action. All indications suggest this is a growing grassroots movement. President Obama's recently announced proposals for changing No Child Left Behind (NCLB) are likely to fuel more action. Here are some highlights from the President's education reform plan with regard to testing:

NCLB Status Quo:  Rely on unsophisticated bubble tests to grade students and schools.

The Obama Plan:   Support better tests.  The Obama Administration has invested $350 million to support states in their efforts to create more sophisticated assessment systems that measure problem solving and other 21st century skills and that will provide teachers will timely information to help them improve instruction.

NCLB Status Quo:  A narrow curriculum focused only reading and math.

The Obama Plan:  Invest in state and local efforts to develop a well-rounded curriculum and allow states to include subjects beyond reading and math in their accountability system.

SB736 mirrors the goals the Obama Administration has in mind as educational reform. So, if you are a supporter and proponent of SB736, then you will be cheering. On the other hand, if you were concerned about the lack of details, lack of cost analysis, and continuing an obsession with tests, then things are not looking so good.

Read the President's education plan here.

UPDATE: EDWEEK reports that U.S. Department of Education spokesman Justin Hamilton "clarified" Obama's statement about too much testing, by countering it:
"While we're open to how we can best assess student progress in subject areas like history and science, we believe annual measures in reading and math are needed to assess progress toward college- and career-readiness. More must be done to improve the quality of those assessments, so that they're a more meaningful measure of student learning..."
That certainly clears things up now....clear as mud. The President prefers less, the U.S Office of Education prefers the more.


  1. $350 million is a drop in the bucket. Pennsylvania paid $201 million for the new Keystone tests. Texas has committed $500 million for the new STAAR tests. And now Obama expects the states to invest in yet more test development? And he's only committed $350 million. Those are some numbers that don't add up.

  2. Here's a link to parents groups and opt out rules for different states.

  3. I am a college student who is speaking about this exact topic for a speech class and trying to win a spot in a New York Times speech contest because I feel this topic is not thought about enough. I was wondering if you could tell me where you got the graphic from for citations to help me prove to my teacher that you are very credible. Thanks

  4. Anonymous, check the sidebar, there are almost 160 archived posts, most of them are on this subject.. there are at least a thousand references quoted and listed..

  5. To: Anonymous
    From: Sandra

    I created the graphic based upon newspaper articles and other published material that covered parent voices on this subject in each of the states highlighted. If you search this blog for "parent opposition", you will find articles for the states that are yellow. Additionally, I recommend you look at the Parents Across America website for confirmation, along with www.unitedoptout.com, and http://optoutofstandardizedtests.wikispaces.com

    If you need additional resources or have a quesiton, feel free to ask.

    Hope this helps.

  6. p.s. the map may have appeared more recently with updates. I'd have to search the blog itself and don't have time. Feel free to explore.