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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
then simply contact them via email, phone, or snailmail. Here is a sample email you can cut and paste:
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.
(your name and town)
Of course, you can add more info if you want (like the reasons listed above, how testing has impacted your children, or a statement of how you voted for him/her). Personalized is always best, but if you don't have time, a quick email is better than nothing at all. Phone calls to your Congressman's office work magic, too!
*NOTE: If one of these awesome Congressmen below belongs to you, then don't send them the above message because they've already signed on as a co-sponsor! LUCKY, YOU!!! Send them a thank you message (or even a batch of cookies if you feel so inclined).
Sponsor: Rep. Christopher Gibson, R –NY
Rep. Sinema, Kyrsten [D-AZ-9]
Rep. Joyce, David P. [R-OH-14]
Rep. Green, Gene [D-TX-29]
Rep. Reed, Tom [R-NY-23]
Rep. Sires, Albio [D-NJ-8]
Rep. Capuano, Michael E. [D-MA-7]