- I have worked on this issue for years.
- Some will say this isn’t possible. That is simply not true.
- Every test is NOT bad. I taught too. A well designed test, created by a teacher and graded by a teacher is critical to proper education. The tests discussed here are SAT-style tests given to children as young as 8 years old.
- I cofounded a group, Test Watch, and work with the Opt Out Florida Network. We have successfully reduced tests at the state level.
District Wide we have far too many tests these are fully within the control of the district:
- High/Middle: Lake gives 4 extra district-wide tests that are not required by state law. The teachers do NOT get meaningful results from these tests. They are a disruption and a waste of time. Lake is also phasing in common final exams which will add hundreds of extra standardized tests that are not teacher-created at a cost of hundreds of thousands of dollars to our taxpayers.
- Elementary: Excess testing at this level is more hidden. It is in the form of iready, istation and others, computer programs, that teachers are mandated to have children start working on each week as early as first grade. Nothing replaces the time spent with a teacher and these programs take away from educating the child. Additionally, they are poorly made programs with many glitches.
- We have made inroads into cutting statewide tests. Over 500 tests, in every class and every grade-including kindergarden, were going to hit lake county and with the work of Test Watch and others around the state we brought this to a halt.
- Lake can not give up this fight, and we can not simply send a letter to the state each year saying there are too many tests. We need to stand firm and only do the minimal amount of testing possible, we need to support our parents who choose to refuse the tests (which they can do within the law).
- Lake needs to Actively lobby for less tests!