A Word from Chad ~ July 2015

Welcome to summer! It feels like we’ve been enjoying it for a couple of months, even though it officially just started.

As a parent to two elementary school boys, I have to admit the end of the year was tough. The sun was constantly shining and never seemed to set. And our fourth-grader took a new test called “Smarter Balanced,” which is part of the common core rollout.

My wife, who is younger and wiser, didn’t want him to take the test. He’s struggled with dyslexia and dysgraphia, and she felt like it would be too much pressure for him to be successful. I argued that he was going to be taking tests for the rest of his life and that he should take this one.

As we later learned, she was absolutely right. The test was an unmitigated disaster for my son and really pounded on his confidence.

We’ve now invested a considerable amount of time to learn more about what common core is and the testing. As parents, we found that the common core roadmap helps us understand where we should be taking our son on his educational journey with math, science, reading and writing.

Unfortunately, the implementation of it requires testing, which, as I stated before, I’m not opposed to. The problem is the testing is all about the system and not about the kids. As of today, we still don’t have the test scores. We still have no idea how my son did and it gives us no information about what we should be doing this summer to help him achieve great results.

We will participate in testing in the future – it will be assessment testing on our terms, to help us on our child’s educational journey. I’m not interested in our children being pawns in the bureaucracy that exists around common core testing.

I know there’s a lot of public policy discussions by think tanks and self-interested groups about schools and systems performance. We’re just going to exclude our children as experiments in that conversation.

Until Next Time,
Chad Mackay | President & COO


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