Soon California will release the results of your child’s Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, or SBAC tests. These tests are also known as the new Common Core test that California and states across the country implemented last year.
Please know that as you receive the results of your child’s SBAC scores our child’s results may show up as failures. This does not mean that your child is not intelligent, that your child’s teacher is doing a poor job or that the school your child is attending is failing. However, it does mean that the SBAC test is achieving expected results. You see, the SBAC test is a failure by design.
The testing company, who was hired to design the SBAC tests (now called CAASSP), with no input from educators, has purposely designed it to produce a high failure rate. This is so those same testing companies can now sell your child’s school the “new” curriculum, test prep materials, intervention programs, textbooks, apps, technologies, etc, to bring up test scores. Not only that, they also hope to fool enough people that they start demanding “better” schools (mind you the problem is the test not the school). Corporate Charter Schools can then come in and take over. All the while the fat cat CEO’s of these corporations make a killing off of our tax dollars.
This moves hundreds of millions of dollars from the public to the private sector where the focus is not in educating our children, but instead making a profit. After all, that is the purpose of the business model.
So I write you to take heed of the your child’s results. The results are not a true measure of anything except that the test is working, as it was designed, to produce failure. Do not be fooled.
I write to you as a parent of two public school children and as a teacher to warn you of what is coming and to tell you that, no your child is not a failure and yes your child is more that just a test score. A test does not teach students anything, but teachers and schools do.
Lastly, if you are as upset as I am of this planned failure and the enormous about of money that is being wasted on this tests, then join me in opting out of school testing. There is a growing national movement to stop to over testing of our children and you actually have the right to opt out to have your child in a meaningful educational experience instead of testing. It is time to join this quiet revolution against wrongful and over-testing of our children.
You can find more information about on the website here at UnitedOptOut.com.
Jose Lara is the recipient the National Education Association Social Justice Activist Award 2015, an organization of 3 million members. He is a teacher in Los Angeles and a parent in Pico Rivera, CA. He can be reached at email@example.com.