Testing folly on steroids

The League of Women Voters of Ohio adopted a position against high-stakes testing last June. The use of such testing to grade school districts has always simply measured the wealth of the families using those public schools. (This is not an opinion and is verified by the Ohio Department of Education's (ODE) own data. The ODE does not phrase it in quite that way, but it is where their data [leads]).

The coronavirus ended testing for public school students this year. Next spring, if sanity is not able to prevail, the gap between the haves and have nots will widen. There will be groups of students in our community who will have had a parent attend to their every want, need, and educational whim with all the resources money can buy. And there will be parents who, through necessity, plant their kids in front of a TV so that the kids will be safe while the parents go to the job that puts them in harm’s way. Some students will have access to a computer per child, and thankfully here in Cleveland Heights/University Heights, some will have a computer per family. Some will have high speed Internet; some will not. Many will be wondering just how they will continue keeping a roof over their heads.

Maybe none of the Republicans in the state legislature took psych 101. But I would like to introduce them to a guy name Maslow. He created this pyramid called Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. In short, if you are worried about basic survival, it’s pretty hard to think of loftier needs. At the moment, many in our community are concerned about their most basic needs.

This school year has been shortened for all the students in our state. If we come back next year and the state thinks that one group of students hasn't weathered a much more severe storm that another group, that can only be regarded as willful ignorance. And if the state says, yep let's test again, assign and grade districts, it will do so with full awareness that, once again, it will be measuring the wealth of the community's public school population, nothing more.

Robin Koslen

Robin Koslen finds herself continually scratching her head and wondering, "How did we get here and how do we get out?"

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Volume 13, Issue 5, Posted 11:54 AM, 04.30.2020