Oregon State Board Assessment Workgroup claims they are addressing what matters to you, and what is that? They say you care most about “ODE’s vision and values for statewide assessment systems.” Those values they say are “holding space for multiple truths.” Those truths are identified in “the legacy of high-stakes, standardized assessments.”
SB 744, passed in 2021, exposes the “legacy” as having stakes too high. SB 744 suspended proficiency in Essential Learning Skills for earning a high school diploma.
Jeanette Schade, school board activist, says, “the damage of that and identity politics is having on our schools is actually making our schools less of educational facilities where children are challenged to learn the basics, they need to be knowledgeable and contributing citizens.”
Assessment #1 is that history of standardized testing is founded in white supremacy causing harm to underserved students by the educational system. Oregon’s assessment system has been imbalanced and ODE wants to increase the formative footprint and reduce the summative footprint exposing opportunity gaps for policy changes.
Assessment #2 is the removal of practices that are complicit with racist policies. The report quotes from 2019, Ibram X. Kendi, whom made his fame as an “anti-racist activist, by arguing that America is a systemically racist country and that all White Americans are complicit. However, it says more about how racist the workgroup is as he recently outed himself that his work is false and filled with inaccuracies. They quote: “Anti-racist actions must remove racist policies, which serve the self- interests of those in power.” What that means is ODE aims to adopt standards that cut scores in achievement levels in science, math, English language arts, and social sciences.
To accomplish these “multiple truths,” ODE proposes:
- Rehumanizing assessment
- Balanced and coherent assessment
- Infusing anti-racist assessment practices
The effects of rehumanizing practices can be seen in schools where students have discovered the rules no longer apply and are freely protesting and fighting forcing the school to close. Where did education go with student-centered assessments listed such as positioning students as sense-makers, identify and challenge inequities, support student identity and collaborative structures?
A balanced and coherent assessment is all about Student Educational Equity Development (SEED). Again, it putting the student in charge by incorporating student voices into the continuous improvement process, which seems to dwell around self-efficacy beliefs and a sense of belonging as the basis for the opportunity to learn.
Anti-racist efforts have their own assessment system, which incorporates critical race theory (CRT) through identity and diversity. When the focus is more about the pigment of the skin than character, we’ve lost sight of education.
Jeanette Schade commented, “ODE is throwing identity into everything they are doing rather than focusing on what matters in education and that is learning. Every child, regardless of race, sex, socioeconomic status, or ability can and will learn at their level and pace…and with the right encouragement will learn and reach the goal post. We should not be hyper focused on immutable qualities that have nothing to do with a person’s ability to learn. What ODE is doing is actually very divisive and racist as they are lowering the standards.”
What matters does not seem to include every student or parents, but that the Governor’s equity agenda be carried into all aspects of education.
Posted at the Nortwest Observer by Donna Bleiler on 11-21-21
Date: 2021-11-22 10:36