The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Opinion

April 24, 2014

Letter: Standardized testing has damaged children

ENID, Okla. — Enough! Enough! Enough! This letter is directed to those parents who have school-aged children, especially elementary students.

You have been entrusted the care and safekeeping of your children. When they are ill, you ensure their health by seeing they get the best medical care possible.

When they are hungry, you feed them. When they outgrow their clothes, you make certain they are properly clothed. You have wiped their tears, bandaged their scrapes and bruises, and in this process called parenthood, you let nothing interfere with your children’s well-being. Until now.

The tyranny of standardized testing has done more damage to your children than all the bruised knees, childhood diseases and disappointments their young lives could ever have done.

Parents, you know how your children react when these testing days are scheduled. Their tension manifests itself in sleepless nights, nausea, fear of failure and numerous other psychological and emotional issues which they should never have to experience. They are constantly under threat of no promotion to the next grade or no diploma. Intolerable! They are just children.

Counseling centers are now advertising new programs to help third graders deal with their trauma. Parents, only you can end this madness. You must make it clear to the Legislature and other state leaders that the treatment of your children is not acceptable.

The damage to the psyches of your youngsters is nothing short of bullying, and there is a law against that.

A generation of creative, inquiring minds has been lost because this state’s elected leadership believes all children are standardized: same size, same shape, same wrapper, same aptitudes, same learning styles.

Teachers are powerless because their concerns and criticism are considered self-serving.

Parents, raise your voices! Translate your frustration into demands on those who control the decision-making at the State Department of Education and the Capitol.

Nancy Jewell

Enid

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