Sunday, April 27, 2008

Teacher Refuses to Give State Tests

I know many of you have concerns about the impact of state testing on students. Here is how one Washington state teacher, Charles Chew, responded to the call for state mandated testing. Read his comments found in a Seattle newspaper paper, and post your responses. What do you think of his method of protest? What about his going public on the issue? Other news stories are now proliferating about his action, and perhaps you have read them or seen some videos online or caught a news story on television about the case. You will also notice that 40 reviewers as of today posted comments to his stories, so you might want to peruse the comments quickly before posting your own responses. The topic of state mandated testing affect us all, so please take the time to respond.

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Sherri said...

Way to go Charles Chew! I haven't met a teacher that agrees with high-stake testing. However, teachers are essentially powerless; the decision comes down from the federal gov't.

His method of protest is effective. Imagine if every teacher in his school took the same action. While his actions interrupted learning; time had to be given to his cause. I think all educators need to pause and reflect on what impact this testing has on our students, teachers, families, and communities. "Teaching to the Test," is as familiar as the phrase "No Child Left Behind." That alone tells us things are not working.

The NCLB Act has great intentions, but great intentions is never enough.

Lisa T. said...

Charles Chew is definetely preaching to the choir! Every year when it's time to administer the CMT's and CAPT testing, I become angry. Angry that I have to give these tests to kids who are hosptalized in acute crisis. How reliable are the scores? Let's not mention the added stress of taking a test to individuals who are in a fragile state of mind. The last thing they should be thinking of is taking the CMT's or CAPT. Every year, I ask my principal if we really have to give the students these tests and every year the answer is sadly, yes.
I don't consider the action taken by Chew as civil disobedience, I consider it being a positive advocate for our kids.

barbara jaorsz said...

Kudos to Charles Chew! I admire his bravery in standing up to unfair, high-stakes standardized testing. Although I completely agree with him, I don't think I could ever personally take such a defiant stand against these tests. As an un-tenured teacher, I would probably get fired for such an act.

I thought his comments on why the state state was bad for teachers, parents, and students were substantiated. It is true that the test is unfair, and we spend billions of dollars to pay people to score them. This really makes you think about what wealth of resources we could be generating back into the schools if we didn't have standardized tests. If we took the abundance of money we spend on scoring these absured tests and pour it back into the schools, we could have Smartboards in every classroom and smaller class sizes!! To me, that makes much more sense than teaching to the test and putting our students through weeks of exhausting state testing.

Anonymous said...

Go Charles!!

Judy said...

Do you think a majority of teachers in Connecticut object to the state mandated tests? Have you heard of any teachers trying to protest the test? If so, how have they protested? What do you perceive as the major objections? If you are teaching now and must administer the state tests, what benefit if any do you think they have?

Mike said...

Time to upset everyone on this board and maybe even every other teacher in the entire country.

Look I think what Charles did was in some way admirable. I mean he stood up for his beliefs and spoke out and put the issue of " testing" to the " test". Humor aside what Charles did here was set a very bad lesson for his students that im sure he cares about.

Although some may disagree with standardized tests they do serve some sort of a purpose and by teaching students to simply not do things and then hide behind your " morals" and "beliefs" is just wrong.

What if after these kids graduate high school and get a job their boss gives them a project that they think does not serve a purpose could they simply say " i do not want to do this just because i do not see the need." They of course would be fired immediatly but that is the listen that Charles is inadvertenly teaching his students.

Charles, no one likes these tests but all of us need to band together and teach these kids that sometimes we must do things that we do not like and find other means to protest our " beliefs"

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