In my last post, I shared an article about the parent voice not being listened to related to Summit Learning. This led to what the article called a rebellion. Since reading that article I have read three recent articles that, to me, feature the unheard parent voice.
The first of the three articles is ‘Stop the coverup.’ Wake County parents and students protest new MVP math curriculum. Over time, I have heard people question this math program. Wake Country is not the only place where parents are questioning and complaining about this program. In this case, students are actively including their voice.
Parents and students stepped up their efforts to get the Wake County school system to drop a controversial new math curriculum by holding a protest Tuesday outside the school board meeting.
Wake has defended the program as being a valuable new way to teach math by switching the focus from memorizing formulas to learning by solving problems. But school officials have also acknowledged that some students are having problems with the new curriculum.
Speakers told the school board that the new curriculum isn’t doing a good job of teaching math, causing previously high-performing students to now fail their courses. They say that students are being forced to get help by turning to private tutors and online resources offered by other companies or risk getting poor grades.
The second article is A Testing Debacle in New York May Foreshadow a National Trend. Parents have been protesting high-stakes standardized test for years now. These protest have included opting kids out of state tests. Little has changed other than some minor tweaks here and there related to the tests. With an 80 % opt out rate, I would think decision makers would hear a clear message and do more than make minor tweaks.
Drama unfolding in New York state could foreshadow a tipping point in the ongoing national parent revolt against high-stakes standardized testing
The first round of this year’s grades 3-8 tests began last week in New York, amid fresh criticism of punitive new regulations and an official misinformation campaign designed to intimidate and confuse parents.
New York parents shared district letters they claim reveal threats, bribes, and false information on the part of local schools.
There, several well-regarded, high-performing elementary schools ended up on the list under a complicated new formula that treats opt-outs students as if they got the lowest score on the test. As much as 80 percent of students opted-out in 2018.
Rather than really addressing the issue, the state education department and local superintendents point the finger of blame at each other for the threats, bribes, and false information. Certainly can’t have anyone take responsibility for their actions. What kind of example would that set for our students? And all of this after so much attention has been paid to bullying. I guess bullying education has helped administrators and educrats learn how to bully, if they didn’t already know how.
The third article, Parents and children march against plans to test four-year-olds, comes from across the pond to assure us that the phenomenon of under listening or completely ignoring the parent voice is not unique to the education system in the United States.
Protesters cuddling teddy bears, eating crisps, wearing pink tutus and banging tambourines have delivered a petition with 68,000 signatures to No 10, calling on the government to scrap plans to introduce standardised assessment for children in reception class. (my emphasis)
They were protesting against government proposals to introduce baseline assessment in reception classes at schools in England, to test the communication, literacy and maths skills of four-year-olds.
Assessing the communication, literacy, and maths skills of four-year olds. I would bet this protest and 68,000 signature petition is not the first time the parent voice has been raised on this issue. More likely the result of the parent voice not being paid attention to before.
Summit Learning, MVP math, high stakes standardized tests, and assessing four-year old. These are four seemingly unrelated issues. There are some ways they relate to each other. One way is they stem from education reform measures that do not seem to be something parents asked for or wanted to begin with. Another way is that the parent voice is getting louder on these and other issues because expressed concerns have been ignored or given lip service by spewing out spoon-fed ideological bullet points.
I’m going to close with by repeating the last paragraph of the previous post.
This is a system that is supposed to work for parents and the community. When will that system start listening to the parent voice? What will have to happen to get the system to listen and act based on the parent voice? And parents, are you willing to be a part of the parent voice? Are you willing to take back control over your child’s education? Are you willing to be a part of the rebellion it will take to regain local control?