#OptOut – Part The First

This is a five part series that describes a mother’s efforts to “opt” her children out of the yearly standardized testing.

I’ve written about the MSA’sbefore in my blog, when I was a long-term music substitute in my neighborhood elementary school. I’ve outlined the accumulated weeks of test prep, the practice tests that take hours of instruction that began even before Thanksgiving, the long hours of testing, the children finishing before the blocks of time that had to sit and stare at walls until time was up instead of being allowed to even take out books to read quietly. Well, this year, 2014, was the curtain call for the MSA (which is being scheduled to be replaced by PARCC next year). With the new Common Core curriculum in place through elementary and much of middle school, the MSA, being based on the old curriculum, made little or no sense this year. It wasn’t being used as part of teachers’ or schools’ evaluation, and yet the state was mandating, even in the face of a petition and pending legislation to the contrary, that ALL Maryland public schools set aside 2 weeks for this effort, which cost the state about $9 million. Full Article

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