Guest Post: Pam DeFord – Please give the teachers back their classroom time so that quality learning can take place.

By | May 18, 2014

Pam Deford - BOE CandidateDear Kings Park Community,

Just when we thought all the testing madness was over, NYSED drops field testing on us.  The truth is, there are even more tests before the school year finishes up.  Tests that, quite frankly, are a complete waste of time and slightly warp what we would call a great education.  But there is great news!  You don’t have to take them.

Field tests use our children as unwilling participants for market research so that testing companies can create their products.  Did you know that Pearson is being paid more than $32 million over 5 years, to develop just the Math and ELA exams for New York State?  I say, “Enough is enough”.  Pearson and NYSED need to leave our children alone.  Our children do not attend school to help private education companies skim precious tax dollars from our public schools.  It would appear that they have enough money to pay for their own focus groups.

We need to give teachers back their classroom time so that quality learning can take place. Constant testing and test prep takes away from the love of learning.  Learning occurs when children are actively engaged, are comforted by an atmosphere of trust, and feel that they are an equal participant in the process.  We need to let children explore all areas of learning.  We need to allow time in the classroom for hands-on science experiments, learning about our past by putting on plays, researching, and exposure to the arts and music. Our children will not benefit from these tests one bit and it may even hurt them in the long run.  I hope more districts refuse these field tests to send a message to NYSED and Pearson that our children are not their guinea pigs.

I quote Jeannie Fulbright, “If the purpose for learning is to score well on a test, we’ve lost sight of the real reason for learning.”

Thank you,

Pam DeFord

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