Someone should opt her out.  Kevin Huffman did….

In her News Journal syndicated piece Michelle Rhee tries to white-wash the opt-out movement in an attempt to keep parents from jumping a sinking ship.

Yet we all know Common Core is sinking.  Allow me to encapsulate her argument.

  • Tests provide an objective measurement… No, tests are not fun – but they’re necessary.
  • Parents want to know how their children are progressing
  • Good educators also want an assessment of how well they are serving students
  • It’s our civic duty to make sure our kids can compete with India, and “Asian” countries.
  • USA supposedly ranks 26 out of 34 nations.
  • Time spent on testing is not outrageous at all.  She found some paid source to prove it too.
  • Standardized testing allows comparisons across the country.
  • Tests are just one piece of the evaluation process.
  • Tests need to be more rigorous, and more strenuous.
  • We shouldn’t accept the argument that testing interferes with real teaching.
  • We shouldn’t accept the argument that testing interferes with the joy of teaching.
  • Standardized tests are a marker of the service taxpayers are receiving
  • The alternate to testing is to hand out trophies for just showing up.
  • Standardized tests make sure every kid has a first class teacher.
  • Opt-out is a “distracting” movement because it prevents testing organizations from really beating up on children. (rigor)

Now… you don’t have to read her… but if you wish, here is her News Journal address.….

Let us begin…. by covering what she ignored, perhaps purposefully so…..

  • Testing is harmful to children.  If Common Core was Edward Bradley, would you leave your child alone with it?
  • The opt-out movement is not against all testing; just only against the consortium Common Core tests.
  • Common Core dumbs down children; it is a lower standard than most current state’s existing standards
  • Common Core is not just something different; it is revolutionary different from what anyone prior has ever learned.
  • Common Core is not about standards; they are a distraction;  It is solely about money.
  • Common Core is about failing kids so they will become accountable. 70% of New York failed last year after studying Common Core the entire year.  The tests were unrelated to the course material to achieve the desired high failure rate.
  • The US out-performs all other nations when incomes are factored in.  (Our top echelon beats the Chinese top echelon. Our middle echelons beat the Japanese middle echelons. The international disparity only comes about when you compare our inner city schools with the best the Chinese can accumulate in one place… Like comparing Delcastle High School to the entering class at Harvard.
  • Test scores are dependent on poverty.  Not even a great teacher can get improvement out of a child who doesn’t eat, or sleep when after he leaves the school property.  Holding teachers accountable to test scores will cause us to fire our best who are teaching our poorest, and keep our worst who are teaching our rich parent’s little bitches and bastards.
  • If one is to be fired because of low test scores, then passing the test is the only thing that will be taught,… until after the tests are over.

Seriously. Why were these ignored?   Because they directly counteract the argument being made by Rhee that opting out is bad for your kids. Truth is: opting-out is really, really, really, really good for you kids, and if other kids unfortunately don’t have parents who can opt them out, then causing the entire test to be abandoned due to lack of participation, will become good for them as well.

Now let us debunk her good natured home spun aphorisms.  Which appear to be invented out of thin air….

Equating taking tests with going to the dentist’s office… They both aren’t fun, but sigh… they are necessary. Here Michelle is completely oblivious to the objections of parents.  No one is metaphorically objecting to taking their child to the dentist for checkups and preventive work.  They are objecting to taking them to the equivalent of a dentist who has been arrested for child molestation, who has been publicly tried and found guilty, and who is currently serving out his probationary sentence….  So if you were a parent and were being force say by your insurance agency to only go to that dentist for you child… would you opt out?  Common Core is child abuse; less so in the instructional phase, but certainly so in the testing stage.  If you are any decent parent at all, opting out is your first and only choice.

Parents are eccentric for being against every standardized test.  Of course, if they WERE against every single test; that is misconception rising to flat falsehood.  Most parents considering opting out, want the state test to continue and are only opting out of the Federal tests because they have heard how horrible David Coleman has butchered them… and have seen on this and many other websites, the actual practice tests and those scared them so much it made them protective of their children…

Opting out is the equivalent of shutting down the county health department because we don’t care whether restaurants are clean? No! Not even close.  Opting out is the equivalent of shutting down the county health department because of malfeasance, bribery, corruption, and cronyism, have destroyed the integrity of that county health department.  For a fee, it will pass a restaurant no matter what health violations are occurring.  That is the equivalent…

Opting out is the equivalent of defunding the water-quality office because we don’t want to know if what’s streaming out of our kitchen faucets is safe to drink?  No! Not at all.  As above, it is the equivalent of shutting down the water quality office because of malfeasance, bribery, corruption, and cronyism has allowed poop to come out of our shower heads while we are shampooing our heads…  For a fee, this water board not only looks the other way, but actively joins the sewer to the water system to keep from pumping fresh water.  That is the equivalent!…

Opting out will cause your kids to lose jobs to the India subcontinent.  Umm.  Have you ever had a call transferred to India? Perhaps health insurance, customer service, or cable issue?  Are they taking your calls instead of American workers because a) their English is superior, b) their math skills are unbelievable, or c) they work cheaper than the minimum American wage? So how will we lose jobs to them, when they’ve already taken our jobs because they work for less?   Opting out will probably help your child, because instead of performing bells and whistles, he is at home, reading a book; any book is better than Common Core tests.

In grades three and seven, just 1.7 percent of classroom time is devoted to preparing for and taking standardized tests. This data was captured by a discredited service today called the Fordham Institute which is run by a known quack who spends hours wondering what the gadfly says.   How much time is 1.7 percent of classroom time?  Great question. The average day runs 6 and a half hours or approximately 400 minutes… The test time (1.7%) spent per day is then 6.8 minutes. At 180 days per school year, the total amount spent in this very narrow constraint, is still 20 hours… But why did Michelle choose only grades 3 and grades 7?  The answer is in the same report, even though done by the above discredited organization… “The variation in test time”, it states, “across urban districts is large, with high-test districts spending 5x as much time on testing as low-test districts.  The variation between high-test and low-test districts can be as high as 120 hours. After nine school years, this amounts to about 22 instructional days, or more than four weeks of school”.,,, On average, teachers reported spending about three times as much time in kindergarten and twice as much in third grade as the amount of time set aside for testing on district calendars. In seventh grade the report on time-on-testing from teachers was closer to what the district calendars
reported.

We also shouldn’t accept the false argument that testing restricts educators too much, stifles innovation in the classroom or takes the joy out of teaching.  Really what do you have in place of it?   This? 

Standardized tests are an indicator of the kind of service taxpayers are receiving – and whether schools, educators and policymakers are doing their jobs…  Not however when the tests are thrown, as is a football game thrown by the quarterback, to achieve it’s bettors the effect they desire.  New York failed 70% of New Yorks kids.  Kids who did very well in New York without the tests since 1653…..  Perhaps it is true that “honest” standardized tests are such indicators, but these dishonest tests by no means can be taken seriously…

I (Michelle Rhee) built an organization, StudentsFirst, that believes that every education policy decision – from the federal level through states and districts – should be made based on what is best for students and to increase student achievement…. Based on the NAEP tests, it appears what you did, was harmful to students.   Why should we listen to you?

The opt out movement has become a last ditch for parents who are frustrated that the Governor won’t listen to their concerns; that the Secretary of Education won’t listen to their concerns; that the General Assembly won’t listen to their concerns, the News Journal won’t listen to their concerns…

You are allowed to opt out, your right to do so is firmly stated in the national Common Core standards.  Of course people will tell you otherwise… but if that weren’t true, then why would they have brought in Michelle to try to twist your arm to convince you not to do it?   huh?

I hope you have a more fair and balanced opinion at this time….

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