Merryl Tisch believes that testing has all the validity and importance of yearly physical exams. In her brief MSNBC debate with Dr. Ravitch a couple of weeks back, she argued that high-stakes tests provide necessary snapshots to keep students academically healthy. She drew analogies with immunizations. People must not opt out for their own sake and that of the larger population.
Bud I'd say she'd better check her thermometer, scale or stethoscope. She'd better sterilize her equipment. Tests are false measures, causing panic and illness in some small children. For others, who are told they are failures, there is demoralization with potentially long-term effects. Only time will tell how the symptoms now will play out later.
Tisch overlooks the fact that teaching is increasingly becoming test prep. These tests yield no useful diagnostic information to either teacher, student or parent. Instead, cut scores are set with political objectives in mind. The tests are used to punish teachers and close public schools. The tests will increasingly drive teachers from the profession. The students who need the most help will have a harder time finding good teachers. Just watch teacher flight take off! And will that be healthy for the students who struggle the most? Will a new teacher, more focused on test prep than students' social and emotional health as they teach their academics, be a cure?
Imagine if annual physical exams actually made patients ill. Imagine if they failed to give adequate "snapshots" of a person's health. Imagine if 65%-70% or so of patients were told they failed their medical exams. Imagine if they were all told they're dying. Imagine if their physical trainers were then blamed or their loving parents who fed them so many meals. Imagine if their gyms were closed and their entire staffs fired. Worse yet, imagine if child services came to take us all away from our families and our communities. And then ran a bulldozer over whatever was left! Imagine if the cure was far worse than the ill, itself. Imagine if no one would reach out to help the neediest persons anymore for fear of being identified as the cause of the problem!
Imagine if the immunizations given to people had no proven scientific effectiveness. Imagine if the vaccines actually infected people. Imagine if our children were the modern-day guinea pigs in a highly expensive, highly secretive and highly questionable policy of vaccination. Imagine all the while the very people who spend millions lobbying for this screwy and potentially lethal system profit enormously. Could you imagine parents not opting out their children? It would be a crime to opt in. Perhaps Merryl Tisch is the one who should be checked out!
Views expressed herein are solely those of the author or authors, and do not reflect views of my employers, the United Federation of Teachers, the MORE Caucus or any other union caucus.
Stories herein containing unnamed or invented characters are works of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.