Starting up the Testing Coop

I re-read the website I set up a year or so ago to remember what I’ve said about the testing coop, looked through the g-mail account (sorry researcher, I didn’t read your note from last September until today, and we missed out on a Paypal $1000 survey chance too, so you aren’t the only one.)

I’m not sure if the website is as useful for the coop families as it is for me – but it sure helps me remember what I need to do, and what last year’s decisions were.

This year is an OLSAT year (ugh, more logistics, and running after lunch time to squeeze it in) Almost half of the respondents from last year’s testing coop wanted to switch to the other test whose name escapes me (that is timed and complies with the national I forget what acronym standard).  If it doesn’t have an extra test to organize for comparing atchievement and potential, maybe we should switch and avoid the whole mess.  (Great attitude Christine.)

I have backup in two friends who will run the show if I get sick, and check the money numbers and make sure we have all the test booklets (big fine if we loose any).  I’m so glad one lady still has one child under the age of 16, because when she runs the coffee table, she comes in under budget, and people love chatting with her.

In looking through my documents to remember what to do, I found this statement – I must have been really cranky when I wrote it:

Let’s put all standardized tests in their place: they are a convenient method of comparing our kids to the rest of the nation that comes in a tidy package already written in educationese for fulfilling our promise to our community that we will communicate our children’s academic progress for the year.

  • It may give our kids practice in taking standardized tests which may be used in their further education or career for various things, including scholarships and acreditations.
  • It may help us see if our gut feelings are rational as far as our kid’s strengths and weaknesses go.
  • It may help us choose their curricula for next year.
  • It does not measure our worth.
  • It does not measure our kid’s worth.
  • It does not validate our educational practices.
  • It does not set up our children for failure.
  • It does not set up our children for success.
  • It is not magic.
  • It is not an oracle.
  • It is not the voice of science.

So why is Christine organizing the testing coop is she has such a bad attitude?

Testing coop is a low stress way for her own kids to learn how to take a standardized test. They don’t get a coop if there isn’t a coop – and so far no one else is dumb enough to organize it.

But I’m not actually alone and I wasn’t when I wrote it either.

  • Maybe I’ll automate the e-mail reminders on MailChimp so people can sign up more easily.
  • Maybe I’ll write a to-do check off list and send it to last year’s people so they can know what to expect for the whole spring leading up to test time.
  • Maybe I’ll go for a walk in the sunshine with K and take photographs this afternoon.

I'd love to know what you think!