As the parents of an 8 year old, we are very proud when our son takes on challenges.  Quite often, we are the ones encouraging our son to take on these challenges.  We never encourage him to win or get 100s, we only hope that he tries his best.  So why won’t we allow him to take Common Core state tests?

For starters, they are not a challenge.  We would hardly consider 6 days and close to 600 minutes of testing a very limited number of skills/standards to be a challenge.  How long does a child really want to swim in a puddle for?  We would much rather prefer a test with a bit more depth.  After all, choosing between A B C or D for 6 days doesn’t sound all that rigorous.

We can’t see the test.  If our son is going to spend 6 days and close to 600 minutes taking the test, we would like to see his results alongside the actual test.  To send us a 1,2,3, or 4 and some recommend skills is absolutely useless.  We can see every other test our child takes in school and we can discuss questions he got right and help him understand the questions he got wrong.  If all his teachers ever sent home were his grades, there would be no opportunity to learn or grow.  Isn’t that one of the most basic functions of testing?

We do not care how our 8 year old compares to other children.  The main reason is because he is 8 and he is our son.  Knowing he is first or last will not change a thing.  He is not a number or a percentage, he is our son.  A test will not not make our son college and career ready and we would never allow Pearson to rubber stamp him as such- he’s 8.

As he grows older, we are aware his world will become more competitive.  We will be there right beside him, encouraging him to try his best- the same way we did when he was 8.