Lisa Guisbond: Monopoli, Pearlman and Swaim for School Committee

It’s MCAS season. In Brookline, students and teachers are focused on the all-mighty test. The problem is not testing itself. Teachers, parents and even students know that we need to assess learning and growth. The problem is the way the focus on test results narrows and distorts our children’s education. It’s that high-stakes testing has been here for more than two decades and has failed to improve school quality, address racial injustice or close gaps in achievement or opportunity.

A new book by Harvard Professor Daniel Koretz sums it up in eight words: The Testing Charade: Pretending to Make Schools Better. Brookline’s schools weren’t always this way, and they don’t have to be going forward.

With strong leadership from our elected School Committee, we could push back against the pressure to focus narrowly on boosting test scores.  We could free our educators from data collection and allow them to ignite our children’s joy and engagement in learning.

That’s why I’m excited to support Jennifer Monopoli, David Pearlman and Jim Swaim for school committee.

I know from talking to Brookline parents and teachers, an undue focus on test scores creates stress and anxiety and takes the joy out of learning. In less affluent communities, test scores are used to stigmatize, defund and disrupt, not lift communities up.

Coming from diverse experiences and perspectives, Jennifer, David and Jim understand that we cannot test our way to excellence and equity. They bring fresh voices and a desire to bring more transparency and accountability to the committee.

School should be about much more than preparing for MCAS math and reading tests. But for many of our students, yes, even in Brookline, that’s what school is becoming.

Time for a new, progressive direction. Time for Monopoli, Pearlman and Swaim.

Lisa Guisbond

11 Gardner Road, Brookline 02445