Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Letter to the U.S. Senate Opposing High-Stakes Testing: Diane Ravitch's blog

Letter to the U.S. Senate Opposing High-Stakes Testing: Your Organization Should Sign Too | Diane Ravitch's blog:

Letter to the U.S. Senate Opposing High-Stakes Testing:

Click on picture to Listen to Diane Ravitch

 Your Organization Should Sign Too |

From: The Network for Public Education
To: Members of the United States Senate
Re: The Reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act
To the Senate:
We, the below undersigned organizations oppose high-stakes testing, because we believe these tests are causing harm to students, to public schools, and to the cause of educational equity. High-stakes standardized tests, rather than reducing the opportunity gap, have been used to rank, sort, label, and punish Black and Latino students, and recent immigrants to this country.
We oppose high-stakes tests because:
  • There is no evidence that these tests contribute to the quality of education, have led to improved educational equity in funding or programs, or have helped close the “achievement gap”.
  • High-stakes testing has become intrusive in our schools, consuming huge amounts of time and resources, and narrowing instruction to focus on test preparation.
  • Many of these tests have never been independently validated or shown to be reliable and/or free from racial and ethnic bias.
  • High-stakes tests are being used as a political weapon to claim large numbers of students are failing, to close neighborhood public schools, and to fire teachers, all in the effort to disrupt and privatize the public education system.
  • The alleged benefit of annual testing as mandated by No Child Left Behind was to unveil the achievement gaps, and by doing so, close them. Yet after more than a decade of high-stakes testing this has not happened. Instead, thousands of predominantly poor and minority neighborhood schools —the anchors of communities— have been closed.
As the Seattle NAACP recently stated, “Using standardized tests to label Black people and immigrants as lesser—while systematically underfunding their schools—has a long and ugly history. It is true we need accountability measures, but that should start with politicians being accountable to fully funding education and ending the opportunity gap. …The use of high-stakes tests has become part of the problem, rather than a solution.”
We agree.
Yours sincerely,
Network for Public Education
50th No More (Florida)
Action Now
Alaska NAACP
Alliance for Quality Education
Badass Teachers Association
Better Georgia
Chicago Teachers Union
Class Size Matters
Community Voices for Education
NE Indiana Friends of Public Ed
Defending the Early Years
Delaware PTA
EmpowerEd Georgia
Indiana PTA
Indiana State Teachers Association
Journey for Justice
More Than A Score
NE Indiana Friends of Public Ed
Newark Parents Union
Newark Students Union
NJ Teacher Activist Group
NY State Allies for Public Ed
Opt Out Orlando
Oregon NAACP
Parents Across America
Providence Students Union
Rethinking Schools
Save Our Schools March
Save Our Schools NJ
Seattle King County NAACP
Students United for Public Ed
Texas Kids Can’t Wait
The Coalition for Better Education
The Opt Out Florida Network
United Opt Out
Voices For Education (Arizona)
Washington State NAACP
We Are Camden
Young Teachers Collective
[Readers: If your organization wishes to add its name to this statement, please contact NPE executive director Robin Hiller at