Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Revolting Standardized Testing: The British Front

“'In practice, these tests have proved to be a nightmarish failure. The Sats (Standard Attainment Tests) have not only led to a marked decline in standards, they have broken children’s zeal for learning. They have alienated pupils, teachers and parents alike without making schools properly accountable….the Sats have made children better at passing abstruse exams but in so doing have bludgeoned out all enthusiasm for learning, leaving them lacking in initiative, floundering when confronted with unexpected challenges, unable to construct sustained arguments and powerless to think imaginatively.'”
--British middle school teacher Francis Gilbert in the New Statesman, 11.20.08
"In recent weeks, the 190,000 members of England’s National Union of Teachers have voted to boycott the country’s 2010 national standardized exams, refusing to prepare students for them or administer them. Perhaps even more astonishing, the National Association of Headteachers appears set to follow in their boycott footsteps, the first time in history that England’s school principals have taken such an action."
The latter quote comes from a tasty little blog from parents of New York City public school parents that I think will make a nice addition to the blogroll. The former quote is included in the blog's entry on the standardized testing battle lines in England. Much of interest here, including the manner in which the revolution against testing has begun and spread.

190,000 members of the union, huh? Principals taking part, too? Hmmm....

Roughly 330 days until the SBA 2010 window opens.


Robin said...

if only!
I am new to this "game"...my daughter starts Kindergarten in Aug...please explain to me why, if ABQ teachers and students (and hopefully their parents) HATE these tests with a passion - why CAN'T they be changed? WHY?

Sophie said...

Wow. That's a beautiful find.