Last week, I wrote a guest blog piece, Is The Common Core Sending Children Over an Educational Cliff?, on Lisa Nielsen’s site, The Innovative Educator. I couldn’t believe that it became the “hottest” post of the week on Lisa’s site, and I was so grateful to her because she’s given people like me a platform to have a voice as an aspiring school leader, as an educator, and/or as a parent. In the piece, I wrote about my concerns about high-stakes standardized testing hurting our children and their education. In writing the piece, I also knew there would be people who would agree and people who would disagree with my views. After all, that’s what happens when you “put yourself out there” and have a real live audience, right?
Checking my e-mail this morning, I learned about a New York Post article that basically attacks and slams Lisa for her views on standardized testing and advocating for parents to opt their children out from these tests (if they choose to). The URL name of the article is offensive (as it looks like they changed the original title). Instead of presenting an opposing argument about how these standardized tests might be actually good for our children, the reporters go on to denigrate her position, post her salary, and attempt to shame her for having differing views from her “bosses.” Yet, they question Lisa’s seriousness.
As the Director of Digital Literacy and Citizenship, Lisa is demonstrating the power of social media and digital literacy and citizenship to educators, parents, and students and educating them about the power of exercising one’s voice. As we know, it can be empowering, but as we learn from this, there are also those who will attack you when they disagree with you or just try to hurt you, use you, or embarrass you for one’s own gain. So, when such ugly “articles” are written up, we really have to question the authors’ purpose in writing up the piece, and the message they are trying to convey. Who is the real “villain” here? The person passionately fighting for choice and standing up for parents and students when it comes to high stakes testing and questioning what’s best for children or the person (people) resorting to name calling and ranting in order to bait readers? No high-stakes standardized test is going to teach these real life lessons which our kids so desperately need to learn as participatory citizens.