In the State of the State Governor Markell said the following:
“However, while we are entitled to our own opinions, we are not entitled to our own facts. And the facts are clear. The students in these schools aren’t making sufficient progress, while students with similar challenges are making extraordinary progress in other schools.”
Agreed, Sir, as long as you accept that neither are governors or secretaries of education entitled to their own facts either…
Let us be clear which facts you are using… If we lived In a world where everything was made clear and we weren’t involved in tricking people onto paths they otherwise would not agree to follow, in such a world all would state ones objectives clearly.. What you said, would in truth, be spoken thusly:
“Based on a test geared to the diction of upper Midwest America, these children of the inner city’s poorest residents, aren’t scoring as high as some other of its citizens who have been culled out of public education and drilled unmercifully upon Midwestern rural diction, and who upon exiting their schools, know very little other than how to take that one test …….. “
Yet they don’t know sports. They don’t know music. They don’t know arts. They don’t know math. They don’t read for enjoyment. All they know is how to follow orders to avoid severe punishment, which enables them to score well on this test…. which hopefully they will never take again.
Our questions needs to be: Is this really the low bar we all want?
Perhaps, if the test were a viable measure of basic knowledge... (Have you still not taken these tests? ).. But it isn’t.. It is a sorority initiation rite.. You know where they ask you impossible questions (which professional adults cannot answer), and if they want you in, they give you the answers beforehand, but at least it looks from the outside that they are fair and open and allowing all who answered correctly to join…
The Olde South used similar tools to manage the black vote between Reconstruction and the Civil Rights Act… I believe it was called a “poll test” which served as a gate-keeper to determine who was acceptable to higher authority, and who… wasn’t…. ( If you were acceptable, you got the answers beforehand. )
The Smarter Balance Assessment is similar to that literacy test, although it is not just a voting right upon which we are shutting the doors of opportunity…. it is the right to join the middle class… This test is the gate that must be passed in order to get out of working fast food or part time retail across one’s lifetime…. With the Smarter Balanced Assessment, 70% across the board will not make it into the Middle Class in their lifetimes.
This is becoming the new gate that must be passed if one wants ever to make more than $15,000 a year… But one doesn’t pass on hard work or ingenuity… One can only pass, if one is given the correct answers beforehand… Don’t believe me?… Then obviously YOU HAVE NOT TAKEN THE TEST….. Take it. (then come back and argue intelligently…)
If this test ever becomes the standard, then we move on to where a minority of America controls the fate of the majority… We turn ourselves into the South Africa of apartheid fame… Where all opportunity belongs to a very select group who inherit the right, didn’t work or earn it, and the fodder for their success is the vast majority who could do equally well if ever given a chance, but…. are denied that single chance for that very reason….
Every Afro-American. Every Hispanic. Every White American whose parents make under $50,000 a year, will become the victim of this test… This test will determine the new generation’s winners and losers for decades to come… It is not based on ability.. It cannot be learned… It is nothing more than a personality test to determine if you “fit in” to the clique of the white, suburban, upper middle class… (You still haven’t taken the test, have you? When are you going to face the reality and understand that unless you actually have taken your child’s test yourself, you are not responsible enough to even offer your opinion on whether this premise is true or not?)
If this test gets entrenched. we will become a two class society. This test was created in secret. Run through legislature without discussion, Signed with just two signatures. Absent all public discussion. Absent all public input. Railroaded underground out of sight of all accountability… Some even illegal.
But there is a way for all good citizens to fight back… A great way… The test is put in place over the objections of all parents, teachers, and educators… But you don’t have to take the test…
You can opt out…
And if enough people opt out, this whole procedure has to go back again before the representatives of the people, And this time they will be ready. This time, with input from parents, teachers, and educators, ALL WHO WERE TURNED AWAY FROM PARTICIPATING THE FIRST TIME, we might be able to get things finally done right…
But you have a big part to play…
You will be told you are hurting progress. But as the governor originally said in my first paragraph… “No one is entitled to their own facts…. “
Facts are that children across the board now know more than they did when most of us were young. Independent tests have shown this to be true over time. So we were already progressing rather well, before this boondoggle appeared to interrupt continuous progress.
What they are worried is that we are hurting their progress. Their progress towards separating America into two Americas… One where if you are born in the right circumstances, you can get a job and prosper. The other, where if you are born in the wrong circumstances, no matter what you do, you will be shut out of getting a job, and of prospering….
Their progress is what they are worried over… Not yours… All you have to do to stop it, is not send your child to school on days your child will be tested on the Smarter Balanced Assessments….
This is not only your right. It is your Constitutional obligation as an American…… You should be allowed equal access to a prosperous future as well, correct?