The economic future of California does not look promising. The deficit keeps escalating, now at over $16 billion. Local school districts are saying that even if the June ballot proposition to increase taxes is passed next week, cuts will still have to be made.
Probably the worst item to cut out of the education budget is the number of school days. The standard 180-day school year is being threatened. Burbank had 2 furlough days this year, so kids had 2 fewer days of learning. Glendale is scheduling furlough days for next year.
Instead of such drastic measures as a way to save money, how about putting standardized testing and the California High School Exit Exam on hiatus until healthier funding days? These tests cost hundreds of millions of dollars to administer, plus 13 hours of instructional time.
Answering 350 questions in 654 minutes is daunting. Teachers are trained to be engaging and to involve students in lessons. None of these values are evident during testing.
That is why for the sake of our children’s education, the state should cut testing not learning.
BRIAN CROSBY is a teacher in the Glendale Unified School District and the author of "Smart Kids, Bad Schools and The $100,000 Teacher." He can be reached at brian-crosby.com.