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After a showing of Shannon Puckett’s powerful documentary “Defies Measurement,” the opt out movement in Pennsylvania got a large boost. Shannon, an experienced teacher, made the film with the help of Kickstarter, and has made it available for free online.
After they saw the film, parents asked for yard signs declaring their opposition to the state tests, and organizers ran out of them.
The more people see this documentary and others showing the punitive nature of these tests (why should little children take standardized tests that last for several hours? Why can’t their reading and math skills be divined in a 45- minute test?), the more they want to withhold consent.
The more parents understand that these tests provide no useful information about their child (how does it help to know what percentile rank your child is in compared to children of the same age in other districts and states? How does the teacher learn more about her students when she can’t see the questions and the scores arrive when the student is no longer in her class?), the more they want to opt out.
The more parents understand that the tests are about profits, not education, the more they will opt out.
Go online for a viewing of “Defies Measurement” and help your friends and neighbors understand why they should say no and fight for their children.
“State Sen. Andy Dinniman (D., Chester), who cosponsored the bill delaying the Keystones, said he has watched a surprising bipartisan consensus emerge as parents in more affluent suburban districts complain about the number of days devoted to testing, while poverty-stricken communities say they lack the money to implement the changes.
“It wasn’t helping anyone,” Dinniman said of the Keystone requirement. “All we were doing was stamping failure on the backs of students in impoverished areas where there weren’t any resources to pass these exams.”