At Oregon Save Our Schools, people regularly contact us about principals and sometimes teachers who try to intimidate or menace students (not only parents, but STUDENTS) to dissuade people from using their right to opt-out of high-stakes tests. Especially the SBAC summative test.
Several of us in Oregon SOS have direct experience with administrators trying to intimidate, and often lying, to our students about opting-out. It’s awful, and outrageous. We education activists push back. Now our legal rights have been expanded.
We know the people and corporations selling high-stakes testing have a lot of money, and want to make even more money. There is pressure on schools (unfair and not backed by research) to produce high test scores and high participation rates. We get it.
But high-stakes testing does expensive, ongoing harm to our schools. It doesn’t work. It punishes students in poverty and does nothing to alleviate poverty or make student and family lives better.
Those administrators and teachers who do not question bad policies, often willing to lie to deceive parents and students in order to manufacture test score quotas, are worse than a hindrance. They are on the wrong side of history.
And adults coercing students in this way may be acting illegally.
For the increasing number of educators concerned about student lives and quality instruction who support opting-out to the extent possible, even if it’s to simply accommodate students and families exercising their rights: thank you. You’re on the right side of history. And our numbers are growing.
For principals and teachers who don’t get it: stop.