Dawn Neely-Randall, an Ohio language arts teacher, speaks out boldly against excessive standardized testing in her article which was published by the Washington Post.  With the advent of the PARCC tests (the Common Core achievement tests) and the third grade reading guarantee, Ohio students are taking standardized tests multiple times a year.Unknown-5

Ms. Randall explains how this increased testing takes away from classroom time prohibiting children from reading “as many rich, engaging pieces of literature as they had in the past”.  She also mentions the unnecessary stress standardized tests place on students and the potential the tests have to destroy a student’s confidence.

A new issue comes to light as well – just who is vetting these tests before they are being thrust on Ohio students?  Ms. Randall writes,

“One Ohio School Board member shared with me that although she asked, the testing company would not allow board members to take the same PARCC tests the students would soon be mandated to pass.  Shockingly, she was told that board members could not see a sample test in its entirety until the students piloted them. She said the legislature had, indeed, mandated that Ohio third-graders pass a reading test that not one legislator or Ohio School Board member had even seen; one that had not yet even been written.”

According to this information, we have third-graders being put under intense pressure to pass or be held back based on a test which no Ohio legislator, school board member, or teacher has even reviewed.

Which leads Ms. Randall to her final point – who are we really helping with these standardized tests?  Teachers are unable to see the standardized tests before they are offered.  And parents, teachers, and students do not receive the tests back after they are taken.  How are student’s able to learn from their mistakes or understand their strengths and weaknesses if they cannot review the results of their own work?

It seems the only party benefitting from standardized testing in Ohio are the testing companies.  Their pockets are getting full with our tax dollars.  Ms. Randall explains,

“Also, please note: If so many of our schools are seen as “failing,” yet so many of our students are using a test company’s test prep materials ($$$) which are being reported to the state via the test company’s computerized program ($$$) and then taking the test company’s multitude of standardized tests ($$$), which are then assessed by the test company’s evaluators ($$$), and then remediation is done with students using, again, the test company’s intervention materials ($$$); and are then taking the same test company’s own graduation test ($$$) that the test company has prepared the K-12 materials for in the first place……. then, just exactly who, or what, is really failing that child?  But have no fear, dropouts can later take a GED ($$$) administered by the same testing company.”

Ms. Randall raises critical issues those concerned about education need to face head on.  Before Ohio continues full speed ahead down the path to standardized hell, legislators and school officials need to consider the ramifications. Are we really helping students or are we just feeding big government’s ever-growing desire for student performance data and big-testing’s ever-growing desire for money?

Please read Ms. Randall’s full article HERE.