I was thrilled to see this article by Sara Toth, local Education reporter. I am also extremely grateful that the Howard County PTA is taking a stand against administering the MSA's this year. Now that we have shifted to using the Common Core Curriculum, the MSA's are no longer a relevant or useful assessment.
But they're going to give them anyway? Just because "We have to"?
It is the responsibility of the Howard County School System to put the educational needs of its students first. Administering these tests when they no longer correspond with our curriculum and will not provide useful information about our students is a violation of their mandate. Standing on the side of rules, regulations and legalism is not where our school system should be.
I don't care if if standing up for the rights of our children is considered tilting at windmills. It is our responsibility to hold the school system to its promises. They seem to need a reminder right now. Here's a good one:
Goal 1: Students
Every student achieves academic excellence in an inspiring, engaging, and supportive environment.
We believe in...
Achieving excellence in all we do
Developing each student's unique gifts
Engaging students in relevant, experiential, and personalized learning
Cultivating creative problem solving, critical thinking, and innovation
Promoting integrity, civility, and global citizenship
Enriching learning by honoring our diversity
Fostering a culture of collaboration, trust, and shared responsibility
Removing barriers to success
How does forcing students to take unnecessary tests fit into this picture? It doesn't.
If you stand with the Howard County PTA, let them know and ask how you can help. I recommend writing the Superintendent, the Board of Education, and your State legislators. Every night we encourage our children to follow up on a day of learning by doing their homework. Now it is time for us to do ours.