I recently started a group on facebook (please join) where I heard from April Peacock, a mother of a third grader from Pennsylvania. She was looking for advice on how to respond to her son’s teacher, who had sent home a high stakes testing practice booklet, with instructions to the parents on how to review with their children.
High Stakes Testing Isn’t Beneficial
by April Peacock
Yesterday, I received a packet from my third grade son. The front letter says the following:
Dear Parent Helpers,
Attached is this week’s PSSA Practice Packet to review with your child. As always your help and assistance in your child’s education is so important. This is one way you can help show them what they are doing in school is important.
Remember to review the packet with your child. Make sure they read the story and questions carefully before trying to figure out the answers. A little each night works well. The answer key is included for your reference. Research has shown (Ashbaugh, 2009) that when parents practice with their children in high stakes testing, students do much better.
Please fill out and return the paper below to your child’s teacher on 2/1. Do not return the packet.
Third Grade Teachers
Week # 1
Time spent on this packet with student _______________ mins per day.
Were you able to finish the packet? Y N
Please list anything that your child did not understand, so that we can review it in the classroom.
Here is my dilemma: I’m glad that they make the material available to us, but I don’t feel that “high stakes testing” is beneficial and I resent that I am required to fill out a form stating exacting how long I practiced with my child. I dislike them telling me how to spend my time.
Does anyone have an good responses to this? I would like to send in a short letter with references, etc., but I don’t want to sound upset. Basically, I want my letter to be just as PC as theirs. My Case Against Homework book is packed away because we just moved.