We feel that high stakes testing is no longer being used for assessment purposes. These tests are now being used for the sole determination of graduation. Our classrooms are turning into testing prep centers. This testing has become a substitute for the curriculum instead of simply a measure of it.
The President and Congress claim they want "NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND". They have proposed a school "reform" plan that would leave more children than ever behind. Our children have a right to a better education.
The reform plan "NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND" has made it difficult for our teachers to teach. They have ceased teaching the curriculum and have begun only emphasizing the high stakes testing. Instead of using the test results for assessment purposes, this plan does nothing but a promise that the federal government will use the test results for purposes of "rewarding success" and "sanctioning failure".
To "reward" schools already doing well with federal funding, then "sanction" underdeveloped schools by withholding federal funding is cruel and unjust with this plan. Funding is determined by one single test. A more equitable determination of funding should be based on the overall average of a student's grades through out the school year. In addition, students working hard towards a diploma are left with just a "certificate of completion" which is not recognized by most colleges.
Standardized high stakes tests ensure that at least half of our children will always be "below average". Testing in this form is constructed to pigeonhole children, creating a clear distinction between average children and the gifted children. Children with learning disabilities, who may fail one standardized test, are being left behind, even though they may be able to score well in their classes all year long.
We ask that President Bush and members of...