“Think of the Children!”

You may have seen this before.

(Come to think of it… I may have used that same clip in a previous blog post… Hmmm…)

In any event, I echo Mrs. Lovejoy’s plea:  Please, think of the children, Indiana lawmakers.

After a few years of political fencing, Indiana lawmakers have agreed to scrap the ISTEP testing program.  This decision was a bi-partisan affair and has been hailed by most everyone as the right and sensible thing to do.  Count me among those who are pleased to see this happen.

So, how exactly did a seemingly innocuous test become so demonized?  To put it simply:  Politics.

The ISTEP test was once much like other standardized tests.  Students filled out bubbles in the spring, parents received neatly printed out results, and everyone did their thing.  But then we were told that the Common Core Standards would result in a changed test.

And then school grades were tied to test scores.

And teacher pay tied to test scores.

And on, and on, and on.

In the end, education–the ISTEP test in particular–became THE political battlefield in our state… and that is a shame.

So, as our lawmakers consider what to do and how to replace ISTEP, I repeat:  Think of the children.

Consider what is best for children.  Consider what is developmentally appropriate for children.  Consult with a bi-partisan commission of educators from public and non-public schools.  Listen to families, students, and teachers.  Education at all levels is much better and richer when it is geared toward children and not toward elections.

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