OPEN Advocacy and Legislation
OPEN reviews all education related bills in the Oregon Legislature and tracks mission related education legislation. We are also involved with the development and support of bills listed below.
In November 2018 OPEN members provided the recommendations to the Joint Commission on Student Success, which developed a plan and recommendations for the legislature to improve k-12 public education in Oregon. OPEN’s expertise in this area was solicited by the commission as a part of the working group on High Quality Classrooms. OPEN’s Recommendations on Student Success
Too Young to Test
Support for Too Young to Test:
Defending the Early Years (DEY) fully supports Oregon’s proposed legislation to amend the current law prohibiting standardized testing from preschool through 2nd grade. Since 2012 DEY has worked to mobilize the early childhood community to speak out with well-reasoned arguments against inappropriate standards, assessments, and classroom practices. We agree that standardized testing has no place in an early childhood classroom and does not benefit young children, their teachers, their families, or their schools. Instead, standardized testing narrows the curriculum causing meaningful learning experiences to be reduced, causes unnecessary stress and anxiety leaving many young children feeling inadequate and unable to learn, and increases screen time since many standardized tests are given on computers. (For references see Fact Sheet on Testing and Young Children from DEY and FairTest, 2017.)
As more communities work to protect young children from standardized testing, we strongly recommend a prohibition against the use of computerized assessments, which are rapidly replacing annual standardized tests with shorter, formative assessments presented on tablets and screens. These assessments are often packaged as “personalized learning,” promising an individualized curriculum; in reality, they force children to spend more time engaging in developmentally inappropriate screen-based experiences. Recently, Defending the Early Years has spoken out against online preschool and the dangers of too much screen time for young children. We believe such assessments offer no real benefits, and may, indeed, harm the healthy development of young children.
Defending the Early Years is a not-for-profit organization working for a just, equitable, and quality early childhood education for every young child. deyproject.org