More Teaching, Less Testing!


Image result for Gillian Russom utlaMy friend Gillian Russom teaches high school in the L.A. public schools.  She is also a union activist in the United Teachers of Los Angeles, a fierce advocate for social justice, and an outspoken opponent of high stakes testing.  Gillian recently wrote this short post about the out-of-control testing happening at her school and I asked her if I could republish the statement and photos here.  Read her words.  Then opt your kid out and support union teachers everywhere who are fighting to reclaim education and make teaching and learning about more than a score.

“More Teaching, Less Testing,” by Gillian Russom

This is the testing calendar for English learners at my school:

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In two months, 27 days of testing for juniors and 23 days for all other grade levels.

whiteboardtestsDoes anyone remember Obama’s statement that testing should take no more than 2% of instructional time (that would be 3-4 days)? These students are taking RI, ELPAC, CAST, ICS, ICA, interim assessments, and standards tests in Spanish IN ADDITION TO the SBAC and AP tests.

My colleague who teaches English learners said she used to complete five of her own units with these students — and now she can only complete one due to constant test prep and testing. This is so wrong and inequitable — English learners need authentic curriculum as much as or more than other students!

How are we expected to maintain student interest and motivation when this is their experience of school? L.A. Unified School District needs to meet the United Teachers of Los Angeles’ demand to stop mandating any test that’s not required by the state or federal government!

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4 thoughts on “More Teaching, Less Testing!

  1. Hummmm Why is it that the folks who comment on “testing” do not point out that the kids have already been tested and graded multiple times in each class they have taken. Hummm the teachers knows how well his/her students are doing and school know how well the students are doing by their grades BUT the system does not know how well the teachers are teaching. That what this testing is all about. Rather than review the test students take to assess a teachers thoroughness we test and test and test. Hummm

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Many teachers have made the point, over the years, that due to so much testing invasion they are now able to cover from 1/3 up to 1/2 less subject matter than they were covering before testing laws were mandated. Yet the public remains silent.


  3. “That eight year old … the one who sleeps in his Little League uniform? He’s a third grader. Not yet 100 months old.

    Why is he rip-roaring mad at himself over some junk-test? That’s not the worry of an 8 year old. He should be anxious about base hits … not base line scores. His only career thought is what professional team to sign with … and that’s heavy enough”.



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