Refusal to take tests is attempt to right a wrong
In the April 13 Another Voice, Randolph Superintendent Kimberly Moritz claimed that parents should not tell their children to refuse the New York State tests. She cited several reasons that are in need of rebuttal.
One, the refusal movement is not simply parents telling their children they don’t have to do something because it’s hard to do. Rather, we are telling our children not to acquiesce to injustice, not to submit to authority when that authority is wrong and dangerous. We are practicing civil disobedience.
Two, our children are refusing the tests because the tests do not fulfill their intended purpose. They are not helpful in measuring student performance or in evaluating teacher efficacy. The state assessments are not valid or reliable. And they are now being used as the sole indicator of performance.
Finally, the suggestion that we should simply tell our children not to stress about the tests is absurd. Our children are aware of the high stakes of these assessments and feel incredible pressure to perform. Likewise, the Common Core curriculum has arbitrarily increased “rigor” in content, essentially pushing children beyond their age-appropriate cognitive abilities. The stress is felt throughout the school year by students, parents, teachers and administrators.
It is essential that all parties involved stand united against reforms that are destroying public education. We are refusing more than tests. We are refusing bad policy.