So Long, SBAC!

Yesterday, Maine officially pulled out of the Smarter Balanced Consortium, putting a very welcome exclamation point on what will surely go down in history as a very strange year for public education.

SBAC, you will not be missed – but rest assured that we will not forget you.

We will not forget how many hours you took from children so that they could take part in your failed testing experiment.

We will not forget the way you set our children up to fail – confusing them with strange, multi-part directions that even adults could not decipher; giving them reading passages written for students well beyond their grade level; requiring them to manipulate complicated computer interfaces to answer your questions…

We will not forget how hard some parents had to fight to protect their children from your nonsense.

We will not forget the way you hid your profit-seeking makers behind non-profit organizations.

We will not forget how very expensive you were.

We will not forget how you intimidated teachers by linking your strange self to our future evaluations.

We will not forget how you branded yourself with friendly words and phrases only to prove that you were the opposite of what you claimed to be.

But!

We also will not forget the way you helped band so many of us together across the country in a fight for what is right for our kids.

We will not forget the way you taught so many of us that we need to be more skeptical of what enters our schools in the name of reform – that we need to do more research, to show up to more meetings, to speak up, to question,

We will not forget that you helped wake many of us up to the very worrisome state of education reform in our country.

For that, we thank you, and now bid you a very welcome farewell.

(But be warned, SBAC – we are already on the lookout for your friends and family, and we now know how you like to disguise yourselves!)

Author: Emily Talmage

My name is Emily Talmage and I teach fourth grade at Montello Elementary School in Lewiston, Maine. In addition to teaching in Lewiston, I have also taught special education and general education in New York City, including one year at a “high-performing” charter school in Brooklyn. I also have two master’s degrees; one in Urban Education from Mercy College, and another in Developmental Psychology from Teachers College, Columbia University. I have also worked as a research analyst and assistant at the National Center for Children and Families at Columbia and Oldham Innovative Research in Portland.

3 thoughts on “So Long, SBAC!”

  1. For sure, for sure…well put!!
    We need to remain vigilant. Whatever else comes down the pike has the same potential to do the same senseless damage as the last unproven model foisted upon us. Hopefully the people of Maine are now a more watchful, weary lot.

    Like

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