America has steadily become a nation with inadequate schools, with schools other countries have outperformed that we were once superior to. Over the past few decades America has seem to have lost its stance in providing quality education, free of charge, regardless of socioeconomic status. Today we have moved toward leaving every child that isn’t white and wealthy behind and then we raced toward the top of this greatly disastrous pinnacle that we call the American education system. It seems through the Regan, Clinton, Bush, and Obama administrations we have lost sight of what a quality education is and have embarked on becoming overly reliant on data provided via testing. We have, as a nation, brought ourselves to believe that testing every child in a brown box form is acceptable and that it would and does provide equitable data on not only student performance, but teacher and principal viability too. This falsehood has brought the American education system to its knees, it has essentially undermined what we deem as a equitable education and has contributed to the “mass dilution of education” of minority students and students of the middle and lower classes. Though, America has tried to bring itself back onto the forefront of education, we have allowed our self to step outside of the traditional paradigms of public education. We have created all kinds of evolutionary forms of education. We have brought public charter schools, publicly funded vouchers, tax credits and incentives, and rekindled the usage of magnet schools. However, what’s the purpose of creating revolutionary methods of education when they are forced to in essence limit the creativity of what they teach and how they teach because they have to answer to HST’s? What’s the use of having schools that instead go forward, go back and teach students the things they missed if the school will loose funding for consistent low performance on HST’s? What’s the use of hiring specialized teachers that are trained to teach students who are bright but hindered if they risk loosing their job because their students take longer to grasp the concept behind the coursework?
We can no longer stand idle in the progressive fight to reform the education that the past and current administrations have constructively destroyed. We can no longer stand by and let the creativity be sucked out of students. We can no longer stand by and watch children be labeled as LD because they comprehend the work in a different light. WE can no longer stand by and watch teachers, principals, and district leaders be annihilated for taking a stand against the test and against the policies that kill creativity and individualism. Its time for us to stand up and declare war against the tests and the policies that have created a state of emergency in Americas schools, We must stand up and declare the tests and the policies an danger to the sanctity of education in America. We can no longer wait for things to regress toward good because the state of education is steadily progressing toward horrid under the policies we have in place. It is essential that we take a stand NOW because if we don’t then not only will school choice be undermined by the policies presumptions that all students are identical but it will undermine public education, teachers, innovators, principals, and administrators who embrace creativity.
Written By: Jay (Mallek) Chisley