Share your story: High-stakes testing

Educators and parents alike want carefully designed assessments that fairly evaluate student growth and help improve teacher practices.

However, current high-stakes testing introduced by No Child Left Behind has led to many schools narrowing the curriculum, teaching to the test, reducing love of learning, pushing students out of school and driving teachers out of the profession. These tests have been pushed in the name of accountability without producing useful data and constantly used as a shallow measure for teacher performance.

Representatives in the House have introduced legislation to combat over-testing, but it’s important to tell your story so all members of Congress understand why this fight is so critical.


Take Action Now
How have you seen high-stakes standardized tests affect your students or your own kids?SHARE YOUR STORY HERE>>>

Please contact your Congressman and tell them why it is important for them to co-sponsor the Student Testing Improvement and Accountability Act (HR 4172)

Clickbelow to read U.S. Congress House Bill 4172
http://legiscan.com/US/bill/HB4172/2013

Purpose of Bill:
To roll back “Toxic High Stakes” K-12 mandated testing implemented by No Child Left Behind. The new legislation will convert to a system of “grade span testing” administered three times during a student’s matriculation for diagnostic purposes. This bill would allow teachers, parents and the communities to have more control over testing and its alignment with the curriculum.

Why it is needed:

1. Too much time spent on testing and test prep:  This takes away actual subject instruction time from the students and one on one and teacher prep time from the teacher as well as, financially “ tying the hands” of local school boards.
2. Too much money spent on testing and test prep:  The cost of testing has resulted in the elimination of art, music and career vocational-tech classes as well as the loss of instructional time. Districts are forced to spend money to purchase technology to be compliant with testing requirements.
3. Improper use of test results:  70 % of the teachers in the USA job performances and evaluations are based on tests results of students they do not teach.
4. Stress on students: The federal mandate has pushed the states into a testing frenzy, causing great stress to students, teachers and parents. Special needs students are forced to take tests beyond their skill and capability levels.
5. Lack of proof that testing has helped students: There has been little or no proof that since the federal mandate of yearly testing that learning outcomes have improved.  Excessive testing has changed the climate of education from one of joyful learning to one of intimidation and stress for both students and teachers.
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Click here to find your Congressman:  http://www.house.gov/  OR http://capwiz.com/nea/dbq/officials/?affiliate_lookup=1 (enter your zip code)
then simply contact them via e-mail, phone, or snailmail. 

Here is a sample e-mail that you can cut and paste:

SAMPLE

Dear Congressman ______________,

Please co-sponsor and support the bipartisan Student Testing Improvement and Accountability Act (Bill HR 4172).  Please stop this toxic standardized testing caused by the Federal No Child Left Behind and Race to the Top initiatives.  These are harming our public schools and our children.

Thank you,
(your name and town)


Personalizing your e-mail or letter helps.  You may add more information to the reasons listed above about how testing has impacted your children, your students, your classroom, or a statement about why you voted for your representative.  If you do not have time to write, telephone calls to your Congressman’s office are also impactful.