The Choice to Refuse is News! My Interview about #RefuseTheTests

It started with this tweet:

Well, it started long before that, but this tweet is what put me on the radar of the local media.

And so I got up this morning to talk to Jennifer Mullen about the reasons why I had TJ refuse the NYS testing this year. I’ve previously shared my refusal letter here on my blog, and I was pleased to have the opportunity to share my concerns with a larger local audience. TJ may be the only one at his school to refuse the ELA exams, but there’s still time for more students and parents to refuse before the math exams begin later this month.

Dolled up for my Interview

The interview lasted for about 10 minutes, and it will probably get cut down to about 30 seconds of sound bites, so I hope I was able to get my point across well enough. (I’ll link to the interview online when it goes live, or embed it if I can!) My bullet points were these:

  • The Common Core standards our kids are being tested on were created without educator input, and they are very developmentally inappropriate.
  • Making 3rd graders sit for exams that are longer than the MCAT, LCAT, and SATs is completely unnecessary.
  • In addition to lengthy exam times, test prep and the whole curriculum at large ties teachers’ hands, and the focus on preparing students for the math and ELA tests takes time away from science, social studies, and other subjects. It also sucks away our students’ love of learning.
  • And all for what? Governor Cuomo made a statement to the effect of “the test scores don’t count,” so why waste all of this time, energy, and money on an untested experimental curriculum and irrelevant test materials?

I want TJ to have an appropriate education. He should be challenged, but with material that isn’t so advanced that his brain can’t comprehend it yet. He’s quite bright, but you can’t ask kids to analyze things that are too sophisticated for their still-maturing brains. And this is what is being asked of all students, gifted or struggling. One size fits all ends up fitting no one.

And to end this on a lighter note, I thought I’d leave you with TJ’s thoughts on one of the practice questions he brought home last week…

ELA Practice Question

Christina Gleason (973 Posts)

That’s me: Christina Gleason. I’m a professional copywriter, editor, and blogger. My company is called Phenomenal Content. (Hire me!) I'm a multiply disabled autistic woman doing my best in this world built for abled people. I’m a geek for grammar, fantasy, and select types of gaming, including Twitch Sings and Plants vs Zombies 2. I hate vegetables. I have an intense phone phobia, so I’ll happily conduct business over email or IM instead.


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