Meg Norris

Writer, Educator, Advocate, Activist

I am a writer, passionate educator, parent and student advocate and activist for public education. I am a doctoral candidate in special education and brain-based teaching, learning and leadership. 

"Why should I refuse the test? My kids are doing fine."

People tell me all the time that their children are doing fine with Common Core. I tell them they are missing the point. They may be doing fine now, but what guarantee do they have that the math will be a strong foundation for high school? They may be doing fine now, but what about the kids who aren't? It still isn't enough sometimes. So here are five answers I use.  Here is why every single parent in the country should REFUSE THE TEST!

1. Standards narrow the curriculum. When standards are attached to high stakes tests, the standards become the ceiling. Teachers do not teach what is not on the test. When standards become "guidelines" they also become the minimum giving teachers the flexibility to teach upward and not drill to a test. I refuse because standards based teaching and testing fail our kids.

2. Tests are attached to teacher evaluations. These evaluations have been proven statistically invalid measurements by the American Statistical Association
This means great teachers are being lost either by leaving or by firing. There are very few new college freshman going into education because they see the abuse being heaped on educators. I refuse because I believe in our educators and I support them as the professionals than they are.

3. As education reform digs deeper into our schools and communities parents continue to lose their voice in education. When they lose their voice parents participate less. Common Core removes parent voices and further alienates them from the school. I refuse because I believe in the parent/school partnership that is being destroyed by education reform.

4. School reform is built on a business model. This makes the test score the equivalent to money in the business cycle. Test scores become the lifeblood of the reform movement. I refuse because my child is MORE than a score.

5. The education industry is a $782 billion dollar pile of untapped cash. Ed reform has turned education into a market, not for the betterment of our children, but the filling of their pockets. New math, New ELA, New books, New tests. It is all about money and NOT about children. I refuse because I demand the BEST for my children and my tax dollars belong to my school not the corporate ed reform pockets.