Ever hear a lone coyote howling in the wilderness? If you have, you might also have wondered how long he will go on before another answers his call.
That is how it felt to be “in the know” about standardized tests during the late 90’s when it hit my state and my kid’s classrooms. Where was the information about the ethical use of standardized tests? Where was the information about the strengths and weaknesses of their uses? And today, will this opt-out movement produce any different result? Depends.
I have no reason to believe that our current teaching force or certified leadership is aware of the lessons from the past. In the early 1930’s, the “efficiency movement” proved standardization of teaching was detrimental. In the late 30’s, we proved that standardized tests used as a judgment for school quality narrowed the curriculum and was “deadening to instruction.” And what did we learn from No Child left Behind – the longest, largest experiment in standardization to date?
My hope for the next generation rests on leadership – of all kinds, from all sectors of society. Answer the call.