Like a lot of households, Common Core State Standards (CCSS) have managed to transform the 2013 – 2014 school year from one of excitement to one of immense frustration.
I’ve kept relatively quiet about the effects of CCSS on my kids this year because change can prove challenging while still proving beneficial. I didn’t want to jump the gun and allow my emotions to cloud my judgment of this epic shift in education, nor did I want to prematurely poo-poo its promises of preparedness for a global economy.
But now, three-quarters into the pilot year of the CCSS and man, my faith is waning.
While I hope our teachers have been sufficiently trained on how to teach this new curriculum, preparedness will be of little use unless they’re given adequate resources in which to forge this new frontier. And can we talk a minute about the homework? It’s just plain hard!
I’m hearing over and over again about how critical parental involvement is to the success of students within CCSS, but how are we to help our kids when we haven’t been prepared to support them? We don’t even understand what their homework is asking!
Friend of CCSS or not, my family has a combined 17 more years of public education ahead of us and will need to find a way to make public education work for us; I just wish we had options available to us, or at the very least, a say.
Therefore, in the absence of a voice in the implementation or practice of CCSS, I’m choosing to exercise what little right I have along with a growing number of students and parents: I’m opting my school-age children out of CCSS testing. Here’s why:
1. I can.
There’s not a lot I can do about CCSS, but I can choose to exercise my right to civil disobedience the way Heidi Indelicato of Lancaster, NY did for her fourth grade son by respectfully refusing to participate in the Common Core testing. Indelicato told Fox News, “I feel like I’m teaching him leadership and strong self-confidence, qualities that I feel are good for the development of a young child,” she said. “I’m trying to instill in him that sometimes it’s important to be polite but disobedient. Sometimes it’s needed because the leaders are not always going to be right.” Cheers to Indelicato and the increasing number of parents and students exercising their right to opt out of a test for a curriculum they don’t believe in.
2. It’s unnecessary.
As the pilot year for CCSS within our school district, this year’s test designed to measure student progress toward career and college readiness, counts for nothing. It’s a practice run at a new standardized test taken via computer. If the test results count for naught, I’d rather my child spend the six (yes, six!) days of testing enhancing their bodies and minds in more productive ways.
3. I don’t care.
I suppose if I thought for a moment that standardized test results served as a reliable indicator of human intelligence, I might care. But I don’t, so they won’t…take the test, that is.
4. It’s a mess.
The first year of everything is messy, and so it will be with CCSS testing. Will I feel differently a year from now as we approach the “for reals” CCSS testing schedule? I can’t say, but as for my kids this year, no thank you.
Will you opt out of CCSS testing this year?
Image credit: Flickr/Bart Everson