teacher as pinocchio
So what do you do when your educational professionals are outed as Pinocchio?


The Play: Standardized Testing in a Minnesota School District

Act I: Day One of Standardized Testing


Parents opt children out of standardized Common Core State Standards Initiative Minnesota Learning Standards assessments.

Students go to school and state they are not to take the assessments.

Teacher and principal spread misinformation (or serious non-factual information) about the testing trying to coerce students to take the test against parental direction.

Listen to the recordings from the classroom and the exact words from the teachers and principals trying to talk students into taking the assessments.  From Truth in American Education and Minnesota Students Pressured Over Opting Out of Assessments:

A principal and science teacher in a southern Minnesota middle school tried to convince students who opted out of taking the NWEA MAP test last week that their parents misunderstood the assessments and were conveying false information to them about the nature of the assessments.

Some students recorded their principal talking to students who opted out of the assessments waiting in their school’s cafeteria while the assessments were administered.

“Do you know that is not true?  There is not Common Core in it.  People are confused about this.  Common Core is this thing that is nation wide that no school in the state of Minnesota practices.  No school… They hear it on the national news, but it is not being taught.  You are not being taught Common Core.  Nor is Common Core in the NWEAs.  Common Core is about here are the objectives that students need to know and it has nothing to do with Common Core.  There is no bias in the NWEAs, and people are really confused about that.  And I’ve talked with some of your parents and some of them are going to come back and visit with me about that a little bit.”

“But just so you know that is not true,” she added.  “NWEA is just what is 3×5 and it has nothing to do with the Common Core and Common Core has nothing to do with the state of Minnesota.  We have Minnesota standards.  We have nothing to do with Common Core whatsoever.  So those are some misconceptions.  So you can clarify those and talk with some of your parents about that.  But that’s a big misconception.”

A science teacher who was also in the room chimed in.  “I have to tell you that when you don’t take the NWEA in Science it crushes my soul because I don’t give you guys tests very often and even less this year than last.  I’m trying to do mostly projects,” she said.  “Sometimes I can miss if you are really excelling.  All I can see is ‘oh yeah they got this.’  I don’t really see that you could have had this two years ago.  So it is really good for me to know if you need to be challenged more or are not getting it and it might explain why.  It’s really helpful to me.”

The same science teacher the next day of tests chided the kids for “lies and deceit” that was going around.

Act II: The Next Day


Students still not taking the assessments

Teachers still insisting the assessments have nothing to do with Common Core

The same science teacher the next day of tests chided the kids for “lies and deceit” that was going around.  She was also recorded by some students.

“I have heard some bad stuff like parents talking really bad about our teachers here and misunderstanding what these tests are for.  Lies and deceit is going around and that is what I am seeing right here is some miscommunication and misunderstanding… It makes me sad.  It really does because I work really hard and I do everything I can for you.  One of the things that helps me do that is this test.  It is hurtful,” the teacher lamented.

Read and listen here.

When the principal and teacher outright lie to students, who holds them accountable?  Maybe they should tell the truth about the assessments.  The assessments (not the non-compliant students) are hurtful to the teachers and principals because their teacher and school accountability are connected to the assessment results.  This would be a good assignment to ask the ‘why’ questions for authentic critical thinking.

No, these parents are not ‘misinformed, confused’ or any other adjective teachers and principals can grab from the CCSSO toolkit on how to talk to parents and/or students.  Link to the embedded webinars to see how your federal tax dollars are being spent informing you how wonderful Common Core is for your child.  Parents know the facts about the assessments and how the Minnesota (or insert your state’s name in place of Minnesota) Learning Standards are the same as the Common Core State Standards.  The principal/teacher lies need to be challenged and exposed.

Are these the same educational professionals in charge of ‘character education’ in the schools?  Can you even fathom that educational ‘professionals’ would pit children against parents and feed on manipulative emotions to have children take the tests?

Published September 16, 2014


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