The Leadership team of the Badass Teachers Association released a statement
2 weeks ago regarding Reauthorization of ESEA In our letter to Senator Alexander we stated that as practitioners in the classroom, we see daily the detrimental effects that testing and accountability have on our children, families, and communities. We remain concerned that many choose to ignore the prevalent research that shows how poverty and inequality play defining roles in the achievement of our children in school. We made it clear that no matter what tools used in a school – such as grade span testing, accountability, technology, or merit pay, children still walk through the door poor, marginalized, and in need of resources that are becoming increasingly scarce in our schools (specifically our children of color). We strongly stated that neither Option 1 nor Option 2 are solutions to us because they continue to rely on “testing” as a measure in which to gauge the health of a school. Although we support grade span testing, we want to see it used in random sampling which provides statistically valid results with less time, and money, spent on testing. We must move away from the model of Federal control of education and expensive false measures of accountability that in any way ties annual testing to the support a schools need to succeed. We firmly believe that funds needed for children are diverted to profits for testing companies and their products.
In a recent release the National Education Association stated regarding ESEA Reauthorization, “We must reduce the emphasis on standardized tests that have corrupted the quality of the education received by children, especially those in high poverty areas. Parents and educators know that the one-size-fits-all annual federal testing structure has not worked.”
We would like to publicly thank the NEA for standing up against annual testing and against the one-size-fits-all model. We appreciate that they understand that annual testing does not gauge the health of a school and that the money we are wasting on annual testing is taking money away from our children, being used to close schools, and has created an atmosphere of punish and blame that has been thrust upon our schools, children, and teachers. We hope the NEA will continue to fight to ensure every child has the proper resources to succeed, and that every teacher is given the respect and professional autonomy to meet the needs of all children. We hope the NEA will always believe – as we do – that children deserve well-supported schools, teachers, and not standardized tests.
We are asking all BATs to please email messages of support to the NEA Exec Board and NEA Leadership!
NEA Exec Board