The controversy surrounding Common Core’s first year of official assessment has definitely energized the conversation regarding the role of testing and its impact. The parental decision to opt-out of the Common Core assessments should stimulate another much needed conversation surrounding the parents’ role regarding assessment creation, implementation, and the dissimulation of results. In addition to analyzing assessment results, there should be a process for parents to provide input and feedback regarding their children and the process. Real parent involvement means having discussions in which educators and policy makers may or may not always see eye to eye. What is owed is the opportunity to have a place and space for this type of discourse. Dissent and agreement regarding Common Core and its assessment path should have been handled long before its first testing season. The real negative of this is that the students were caught in the middle of what could have been extremely confusing for them.
Parental push back such as the Common Core opt-out movement does translate to involvement; unfortunately for some it’s not the type of involvement envisioned or desired. We must take the parental voice and its role into consideration as it relates to all facets of education, including the assessment of their children. Ultimately we want that which is the in the best interest for students, and this is always going to be collaboration.
Here are just a few practical ways that parents can have a voice regarding assessment and their children. 1. Provide clear parent usable information regarding all assessments in use 2. Make connections for parents and students regarding the purpose of the assessment and how the obtained information can benefit the child and family. 3. Create a transparent system that allows for parent feedback and recommendations.