I’ve seen Mark Murphy speak a few times and he was definitely playing it up a bit for the news cameras on him at the Senate Education Committee meeting a few days ago. If there is one thing you can say about the former gym teacher, he is certainly consistent.
Thank you Senator. We are all, all of us, appreciative of Senator Townsend’s sentiment that we are all supporting our children as they take this educational journey to excellence. And hopefully that will lead into success not just in 4th grade or 5th grade, but obviously success well into high school and beyond high school years. In order to help deliver our children into a place where they are successful in the world we have to measure their progress along the way. And to understand whether they’re on track to be successful in those middle school years, in those high school years, and beyond. So that’s what this is about, this is about measuring progress. When we use that progress, when we use that measurement, in order to understand what’s working. Our pedalogical approach is working, our curriculum is working, the way that we organize our schools, the way that we allocate budgets, the way we resource schools and which schools need additional resources. If we do not have measurement of how our students are doing against the standards that their teachers are teaching to them, then we are unable to make well-informed great decisions. Certainly at this level, also at a school and district level. Measurement matters. We also agree, that we are testing too much. We have said that a number of times over these recent months and we have launched an initiative to take a look at how many assessments our children are taking. And more importantly than the number of assessments they are taking, is the quality, whether these are redundant assessments. If they test the same thing the child was assessed on a week ago. Are they relevant assessments for what the child needs to be learning to be successful later? Are they high quality? Do they give us good data in order to make informed decisions? And so while we recognize that we are in the middle of that process, we are asking that we allow that process to take hold, before we start making major decisions about opting out of important measurement tools. Finally, these assessments help to unlock doors for us, the decision-makers, for our kids, for our parents, for our educators, in regards to decisions they can make to support the children better. And that information is available at the student level, the teacher level, the school level, and the state level. And we all need this information to move forward.
Is it just me, or does it kind of creep you out when he keeps referring to “our” children? Not my kid Mark! The information available Mark, does that mean we can ALL see the tests and the answers and the actual questions? Sorry buddy, but a lot of parents have jumped off your train trip to la la land. Cue the Puff the Magic Dragon music, we are out of here!