Exciting news from North Carolina
From PAA founding member Pamela Grundy: PAA NC affiliate MecklenburgACTS.org has launched a North Carolina-wide petition drive aimed at the high-stakes standardized tests that are doing so much damage to our children's education.
The petition builds on our successful campaign against testing madness in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools two years ago. It calls on state legislators and school officials to reduce the number of exams required by the state and to remove all high-stakes consequences, including promotion requirements, A-F grading and any connection to teacher pay.
Our goal was to target the piece of ed reform that has the most direct impact on parents and students, and to focus on what our state officials have the power to do (the disaster of federal policy is another fight). We think this is the best way to build a broad-based movement in our state.
|Mecklenburg/ACTS co-chairs Carol Sawyer (l) and Pamela Grundy (r) with Diane Ravitch|
The launch was timed to coincide with a visit by Diane Ravitch. She gave a great shout-out to us in both her talks. She also urged folks to get involved. "Parents and students are the ones who can make a difference," she said. "You have power to stop this madness, and you should use it."
No one tells the truth like Diane.
Anyone with friends in North Carolina, please send them our
MecklenburgACTS.org site and urge them to sign and pass the word. If any of you are interested in starting a similar drive in your own state, let us know.
We are also happy to be partnering with a new group started by students at UNC Charlotte who are training to become special education teachers. Their group is "United to End Standardized Testing and they're on Facebook as UnTEST.
Protesting tests from Chicago to Seattle
|Jesse H and PAA's Julie Woestehoff|
PAA Chicago affiliate Parents United for Responsible Education (PURE) helped organize a testing forum in Chicago which brought together Seattle's Garfield High School MAP boycott leader Jesse Hagopian and the Chicago Teachers' Union president Karen Jennings Lewis for a powerful forum on testing. Reports on this forum can be found here and here.
PURE has convened a coalition of groups to fight the overuse and misuse of tests in Chicago called More Than a Score. MTAS has also been passing an anti-testing petition in dozens of Chicago schools calling for an end to standardized testing in the primary grades, less testing overall, no high-stakes testing including use of test scores to evaluate teachers, and a parental opt out right.
Take a look at MTAS's petition here.