Christopher Chamness, the son of a former teacher, will likely not be surrounded by his third grade classmates next spring when they take their standardized test, according to a New York Times article Student Assessments Facing Stiff Backlash in Texas. Why? His mother will be pulling him out of class to protest the system she says has sapped her son’s love of learning. While the move is bold—her son’s school does not permit students to miss test days for any reason – it is in line with a backlash to standardized testing that we are seeing around the country.
There are many who have concluded that the current emphasis on measurement and accountability which is at the core of the Federal No Child Left Behind Act leaves little room to address and support the individual skills, talents and needs of each student. Instead, it mandates progress and prescribes punitive actions for schools where “adequate yearly progress (AYP)” is not achieved. In many states, this punitive action extends to students where failure to pass a ‘high stakes test’ prevents that student from graduating.