On April 18, The Bee published a letter urging parents to boycott Common Core testing. While they have the right to opt out, parents also have a right and a “need to know” whether their children are on track to graduate and how well schools are doing to make them ready for careers and college.
Higher standards have been adopted across the nation, including in states that did not adopt the Common Core, in recognition that we were not providing the sort of world-class curriculum that allowed our children to compete. State standards and assessments varied widely, and many were dumbed down to avoid sanctions under the No-Child-Left-Behind program.
We are at the beginning implementation stages of more consistent assessments that will let us judge our progress in helping children meet these more rigorous standards. There are legitimate arguments whether there are too many tests and too much time spent on them; and teachers have argued (persuasively in California) that test scores should not be the major determinant of their performance evaluations.
But we need to know whether our children are learning. It is hard to imagine that customers of any other business would campaign against quality assurance.
Kay Bertken, Fresno