Opposition to high-stakes standardized testing is growing around the country, with more parents choosing to opt their children out of taking exams, more school boards expressing disapproval of testing accountability systems and even a group of superintendents joining the fight.
Just last month the Washington Post Answer Sheet Blog documented the growing resistance. A national resolution protesting high-stakes test released in April, already has support from over 300 organizations and 8,000 individuals. You can see the list of signers -- and add your endorsement - at the resolution home page.
In Georgia, a group of school district superintendents, led by Pelham City Schools chief Jim Arnold, started a petition calling on the state legislature to rethink its test-based accountability system. That petition is based on a resolution in Texas, which has been passed by about 520 local school boards, representing over 40% of the state’s students.
The Georgia petition work was influenced by a petition started in New York by school principals protesting the state's new educator evaluation system that used in part standardized test scores of students. More than 1,400 New York principals signed it.
Professors in New York have launched their own petition against the state's educator evaluation system, while scores of professors and researchers from at least 16 universities throughout the Chicago metropolitan area signed an open letter to the city's mayor, Rahm Emanuel, and Chicago school officials warning against implementing a teacher evaluation system based on standardized test scores.
More and more parents, urban and suburban, are rising up to say, "Enough," "No Mas." Although boycotts have been around since the beginning of NCLB, attaching high stakes to test results, such as graduation and school sanctions, quieted early revolts. Students needed to pass to graduate and schools that did not test enough students would automatically fail. Still, in states such as Colorado, steady work by groups such as the Coalition for Better Schools produced growing numbers of opting out parents. In Snohomish, Washington, 550 parents kept their children from participating, and they are working to spread the refusal to other communities.
What is happening in your community?