Monday, August 24, 2015

Six Good Reasons for Parents in NY State to Support the Opt Out Movement

1.Testing in the state has reached abusive proportions. Third graders in NY take six days of tests that are more time consuming than the LSAT's, the MCAT's, and the SAT's There are too many tests which take too much time
2. The mathematical forumulas used to rate teachers on the basis of the tests are wildly innacurate. Some of the best teachers in the state. at some of the highest performing schools have been given unfavorable ratings, prompting lawsuits which are likely to increase in frequency.
3. The tests have been so poorly designed that the state was forced to cancel the contract with the major test vendor- Pearson- replacing it with another company whose track record is barely better.
4. The use of testing to designate schools or school districts as "failing" and in imminent danger of closing or a state takeover has led to the transformation of all instruction into test prep in high poverty districts, and the cancellation of recess and school trips to create more study time for students.
5. The stress levels imposed by high stakes testing on students, families and teachers has reached such proportions that many have to seek medical care to deal with the anxiety
6. The inappropriate adminstration of tests to students with special needs, and to ELL students, has led to systematic humiliation of our most vulnerable young people.
Opting Out is the most effective strategy we have to force governments to reduce the level of testing in our schools, and remove the "high stakes" which have filled our schools with anxiety and stress
Please feel free to share these with parents, teachers, principals, superintendents and school board members