The New York Post went nuts over the fact that my friend Lisa, who is the director of digital literacy and citizenship in the NYC Department of Education and makes $170K a year, is advocating that parents opt out of standardized testing. Here's the article.
Lisa is merely stating the obvious. Because a third of the principals in New York state signed a letter saying they think standardized test waste students' time. The teacher's union has said testing is an ineffective measure of teacher and student performance. Across the nation parents and educators are speaking up and opting out.
Since the New York City Department of Education has no policy preventing a parent from opting out of testing, Lisa is not violating policy. She is just done staying quiet. She is speaking out publicly and saying what everyone else says in safely enclosed spaces: that teachers believe kids should not go to school when school is stupid.
The problem is that we do not accept this discussion coming from the very administrators who are supposed to be teaching our children. No one wants to hear the teachers talk smack about the classroom because then we really have to stop trying to convince ourselves that it's okay to send the kids to school every day.
Imagine if your kid's teacher said, 'This classroom is so boring for your son. You should keep him at home." That would be incredibly honest and helpful and genuine. But you can bet the parent would have a fit and say the teacher's not doing her job.
But it's the teacher's job to tell the parents when the child is not flourishing in school. It's the teacher's job to say, "Your daughter needs a better learning environment than what she has here."
That's what Lisa is saying, for just one, single, day, and people are up in arms.