I do it, too. You don’t want to borrow trouble. You don’t need to fight something that doesn’t really affect you. But if you look it up, you find out that these tests mostly measure the proverty or wealth of a person and so what we’re doing is we’re spending a lot of money on these measures to see how poor we are. Intellect, success, how good your teacher is- none of those are more closely correlated than socio-economic status to a test. None of them. Look it up. Since we are already pretty sure of the poverty of our state, the millions of dollars and hours spent testing, the development of the out of state financial and intellectual resources in making tests and curriculum, it’s not just a waste. It is actively depleting our state. As a school, like Montezuma, receives a grade of “F” from formulas that have already been proven to be “bad math”, the public seeks other schools, the population of the school goes down. Montezuma has never been under 500 students, until this year. Montezuma is undergoing staff cuts, in a time of over crowded classrooms in many other schools. If we follow the pattern in Philadelphia (read the NPR story here), we will soon be closing schools. What sense does it make to close these buildings that the public invests millions of dollars in? Cutting teachers and closing schools so that we can pay for more measures so that we can find out that we are getting more and more poor as the newspaper reported this last week.
That’s why these teachers were out there on Central Avenue today. That’s why we should be out there with them.