Maryland Education Leaders Seek Testing Moratorium



The state teachers union and the superintendents association in Maryland are calling for an immediate moratorium on student testing until the tests and the newly introduced core curriculum can be brought into alignment. The current tests do not reflect the changes to the curriculum that have been taking place over the last several years and thus, the scores have gone down. While this situation would seem like an obvious one to anyone not politically or economically connected to the issue, it’s not so to the people who make the decisions.

Maryland state schools Superintendent Lillian Lowery says that the tests can’t be stopped because the  federal No Child Left Behind law requires testing. It should be noted that the Bush-era law was largely written by McGraw Hill, a large testing company with political and economic ties to the Bush administration. Mysteriously, nobody every looked into the obvious conflict of interest there or how much money M-H contributed to the Bush campaign.  In any case, Lowery’s contention is a cop-out as  other states have requested and received waivers from parts of the law in the past several years but not from the assessment requirement. It’s probably time someone asked for that waiver too.

The bottom line here is that the testing is overzealous, stress-inducing, and amounts to an institutional form of child abuse foisted on the system strictly in order to benefit the testing companies and right wing politicians who are using testing as a way to bludgeon and destroy teachers unions. The fact that education officials who want our kids to succeed are having an issue with the testing should come as no surprise to concerned parents. It will be interesting to see what happens in Maryland and how this might affect other states.

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