Teachers Letters to Bill Gates -
Dear Bill and Melinda,
It is no surprise that 522 + people find the headlines to Nerissa Ediza’s tweet horrifying. Her question is so rational and yet, what is irrational is what is actually happening behind the closed doors of our kindergarten classrooms — testing upon layer of testing – standardized, summative, and formative testing of 5 year olds that is often hidden from their parent’s eyes. Mandated unnecessary corporate-reform-instigated-standardized testing of 5 year olds is growing at an alarmingly rate, as Race to the Top and Common Core have invaded our kindergarten classrooms. How can this be? If parents and community members knew the truth, what would they do about it?
While this tweet is about Oregon, the standardized testing program called Teaching Strategies Gold Assessment Tool (TSGAT) discussed in The Oregonian is ramping-up across America with your financial support. I found several instances of your funding TSGAT.
Peg Robertson give readers great details about TSGAT in her blog: “Do Not Go for the Gold (Teaching Strategies Gold) for Early Childhood”.
You can read The Oregonian author’s report here:
You see, TSGAT is not the only standardized test, nor the only assessment we are mandated to use on our kindergartners. I will discuss my kindergarten testing experiences in order to meet the requirements of the layers of bureaucracy over me: Corporate aka federal, corporate aka state, and corporate aka district mandates — are layered on top of building and team data decisions — all of which dictate the quantity of tests, types of tests, and amount of time spent on kindergarten testing today. Testing is not teaching. Testing takes time and costs big money. Testing is used to feed BIG DATA, stripping children, families, and teachers of privacy. Testing takes away the time for developmentally appropriate experiences. Over-testing and developmentally inappropriate testing cause stress on young growing children.