Friday, February 17, 2012

Open rebellion against standardized school tests in Texas

This from the Dallas Morning News:
Saying high-stakes standardized testing is "strangling our public schools," superintendents of several high-performing North Texas school districts have jointly signed a letter to top state officials and lawmakers warning about the deterioration of the education system.

Call it open rebellion against the 25-year-old testing regimen. Wow.

The letter goes out to back up Texas Education Commissioner Robert Scott, according to Coppell Superintendent Jeff Turner. Scott asserted recently that emphasis on high-stakes testing in some places had become a "perversion" of the system that lawmakers had in mind. Scott's comments about testing inflamed Texas Association of Business chief Bill Hammond and put the governor's office on edge.

So the superintendents wrote:
We completely agree with Bill Hammond when he writes, "If we do not deliver a quality education system that prepares our students for college and careers, Texas' ability to attract new business, improve our economy and maintain our competitiveness will surely falter. Our very prosperity as a state, its business and its people stands in the balance."
However, we completely disagree with the idea that the way to success for all students is through more standardized tests. In fact, we believe that more tests where students memorize and fill out bubble answer sheets in order to graduate will continue to keep us from being able to reach the very goals upon which all Texans agree...

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