Nearly Half of England’s Schools Boycott National Standardized Tests

In England last week, nearly half of its schools refused to administer the national standardized tests. The National Union of Teachers, as well as the National Association of Head Teachers, voted in favor of a boycott. The reason: the importance placed on the tests is forcing teachers to teach to them instead of focussing on a more meaningful and broader curriculum.

If only teachers in the U.S. would do the same….

Read the story here.

12 Comments on “Nearly Half of England’s Schools Boycott National Standardized Tests”

  1. HomeworkBlues says:

    If only, indeed. This is what teachers in this country ought to be doing and quite frankly, I am surprised they have not taken an orchestrated well thought out oppositional path on this.

    Teachers? Any suggestions? Explanations?

    May 16th, 2010 at 9:55 pm
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  2. teacher says:

    Not only should we teachers be doing widespread orchestrated test refusal, we should be having country-wide walkouts over the devastation that is happening to public education due to the fed’s takeover of education from local government. Meaning NCLB (now ESEA) and all the garbage that goes along with it.

    Unfortunately, that is unlikely to happen because state after state is passing laws, under pressure from the feds, to take away teacher tenure. We speak up against high-stakes testing, institutional drugging of your kids, too much homework, longer school days and years, or anything else Bill Gates and the Feds decide will fix education, we’re gone. As much as many people don’t like teachers’ unions and tenure, there is good reason for teachers to have protections. We can’t stand up for your kids against the system without them.

    May 17th, 2010 at 12:01 am
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  3. FedUpMom says:

    ****
    As much as many peo­ple don’t like teach­ers’ unions and tenure, there is good rea­son for teach­ers to have pro­tec­tions. We can’t stand up for your kids against the sys­tem with­out them.
    ****

    What? Teachers have had unions and tenure for decades, and I don’t see them standing up for our kids against the system. We’ve had a few isolated reports of teachers refusing to give tests, but that’s it.

    May 17th, 2010 at 7:00 am
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  4. Jason says:

    Here in Texas there are no teachers unions…it is illegal. If I were to refuse to administer the state test I would lose my certification and my job immediately.

    Jason

    May 17th, 2010 at 7:26 am
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  5. FedUpMom says:

    Jason — how about the Texas State Teachers Association?

    http://www.tsta.org/

    May 17th, 2010 at 7:59 am
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  6. Jason says:

    In Texas organizations like TSTA and ATPE lack any real power. They are referred to as professional organizations instead of unions. I am a member of one of them, but only for the legal protection and professional development opportunities. If a parent decides to sue me they will help with my legal costs. There is no collective bargaining power. If I refuse to administer the state test there is nothing either of these organizations can do for me, I will lose my job. As much as I like the idea of standing on principle and saying, “consequences be damned” I have bills to pay.

    May 17th, 2010 at 10:52 am
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  7. Sara Bennett says:

    Now I know I’m an idealist, but what if someone organized the teachers so that a good percentage of them stayed home on test day or refused to administer the test? At a certain point, not all those protesting teachers can be fired.

    In reality, though, it’s a rare teacher who can say “consequences be damned.” The most famous is Carl Chew from Washington state, who did just that two years ago. I wrote about it at the time: http://stophomework.com/seattle-middle-school-teacher-suspended-for-refusing-to-administer-wasl/259

    May 17th, 2010 at 12:59 pm
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  8. DCM5150 says:

    It all comes down to money. In CA, if a school / dristrict does not give the test to a certain percentage of the students (and its high, like 95 or 98%) then the district will lost funding, because the feds will withhold money from the state.

    Money is power and it is the power held over the districts to do testing. In CA, budgets are already so bad making things worse would be detrimental to all. We just need to do away with the testing requirement.

    September 30th, 2010 at 2:37 pm
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  9. Soontobediscontinued says:

    Speaking of MONEY (schools not getting funding if they don’t play by state/fed rules) who pays whom for producing standardized tests? How big a business is it? Where are their psychometrists? What standards are THEY using?

    April 5th, 2011 at 3:03 pm
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  10. ödev says:

    If only, indeed. This is what teachers in this country ought to be doing and quite frankly, I am surprised they have not taken an orchestrated well thought out oppositional path on this.

    June 15th, 2011 at 1:44 pm
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  11. Sam D says:

    I boycotted the MCAS in Massachusetts this year, and I’m proud. I wrote a polite letter rather than answer the questions, explaining that I believed that it was counterproductive in my education. I hope others will do the same 🙂

    August 18th, 2013 at 8:30 pm
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  12. Sara Bennett says:

    You should be proud! I hope many others follow your example.

    August 19th, 2013 at 1:23 pm
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