Tuesday, May 19, 2015

NJ: No Applause for Banning Testing for the Littlest Students

The news from New Jersey is that the legislature is very close to banning using the Big Standardized Test on students in Kindergarten through Second Grade, which is good news, I guess.

Only there is no similar move being contemplated for the many New Jersey students currently required to take the Big Boys and Girls Version of the PARCC, despite the New Jersey landfill-sized mountain of evidence that such a move would be both beneficial and welcome. There is a mess of various proposals calling for everything from greater transparency to giving the commissioner power to open a can of state-level whoop-ass on any who dare to opt out (while simultaneous declaring that, hey, hardly anybody did that opty outy thing so it's just no buggy).

And anyway-- what does it say about the current state of reform foolishness that any such law is even a thing? Will the legislature also be considering a law again lacing school lunches with ground glass? Will the legislature legislate that school administrators may not administer swirlies to students? Do we need a law to tell schools that they may not have students spend recess playing in traffic? Is there a law saying that schools may not heat the building winter by burning the students' clothes?

The fact that giving BS Tests to kindergarten students is on anybody's mind in the first place is just a bad thing! If your brand new spouse looks over at you and says, "You know, you're so sweet, I think I won't sell your liver on the black market after all," that is not cause for either celebration or relaxation.

So while I guess this proposal is better than one which mandated ten mile runs for five year olds, I'm not prepared to applaud the NJ legislature for putting into law what anybody with even an iota of sense would know better than to vent think about. The fact that such a law seems like a good idea is just a sign of how many people without an iota of sense but with a great deal of power are roaming loose these days.

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