I have heard lots of ridiculous claims why students should take the Common Core state tests. One of the most famous lines came from Secretary of Education Arne Duncan when he said, “We should be able to look every second grader in the eye and say, ‘You’re on track, you’re going to be able to go to a good college, or you’re not,’ ” he said. “Right now, in too many states, quite frankly, we lie to children. We lie to them and we lie to their families.”
The latest bizarre claim by the reformers is that testing is a civil right. I scratched my head and wondered. Of course these groups know what civil rights are but I suspect they should educate themselves on the tests before making such bold claims. I thought Diane Ravtich put the claim to bed when she pointed out, “How can one look at the results of Common Core testing in Néw York—where 97% of English learners, 95% of children with disabilities, and more than 80% of black and Hispanic students failed to meet the standard of “proficiency”—and conclude that these children are well-served by standardized testing?
In the Fordham Institute’s latest piece, Robert Pondisco seems confused when he makes the claim, “White suburban moms certainly appear to be primary drivers of the opt-out movement. To the degree that such are responding to curriculum narrowing and other deleterious effects of test-driven accountability, I’m deeply sympathetic.” By his own admission, it is pretty clear that white suburban moms are not the drivers of the opt out movement. The opt out movement is driven by some of the worst tests we have never seen. Unfortunately, most students are subject to Common Core’s toxic state tests.
But not all students take Common Core state tests. These tests are not offered to the elite private schools. When you search for the test scores of the elite private schools, they come up blank. Why? Don’t these parents care if their children are college and career ready at 8 years old? Don’t they want their children prepared for more difficult tests later in life? Don’t they care about supporting civil rights through testing? Don’t they want to know if the schools they are paying tens of thousands of dollars to are failing their children? Don’t they want their children test prepped? The answer is no, they don’t. They care about their children and have sought the best education possible for them. Their children’s schools, teachers, and students are not held hostage to Common Core state testing and nor should ours.