Tested to Despair

Stop high-stakes testing from destroying public education.


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An opt-out letter to the school board

RL writes

Here is my letter to my local school board. Parents, feel free to copy it for your own children.

Dear_________________________________,

I do not want my child,____________, to take the ELA and Math state tests this spring. I have not come to this decision lightly. In fact, I have conducted a great deal of research and have come to the conclusion that high stakes testing does nothing to benefit our public schools; but it has everything to do with lining the pockets of private corporations who are, unfortunately, driving our current educational policy.

The tests do not benefit my child. Continue reading

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What is this thing they call the Roman Empire?

Bill writes

I teach U.S. History in high school. At least, I am a certified History/Social Studies teacher in Connecticut. My district, Hartford, is so very enamored of the testing craze under the guise of “reform” that history is the last thing that I have been teaching. The Hartford Board of Ed has taken seriously Governor Dannel Malloy’s statement that he doesn’t care that we teach to the test as long as student scores go up. Therefore, we do not teach content anymore; we teach CAPT. We teach NWEA MAP testing. We teach a new district assessment that is given to the students three or four times yearly. None of these tests have anything to do with either history or the social sciences. This is MADNESS! Continue reading


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We call them the educapitalists!

Little Rhody says

In our state grades 4, 8, and 11 get hit with the majority of high-stakes tests. In grade 8 our students waste three half days on state ELA Reading assessments, then three half days on state mathematics testing, then two half days on state writing assessments. In addition another day is spent on the state technology test, even though many of our schools do not have enough technology to use to administer the technology test! Later in the spring our eighth graders take yet another state assessment in science that takes up another three half days that would have been better spent on teaching and learning. Continue reading


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Standardized Testing is Annoying

Shannon B., Boston, 12 years old says: I don’t like the MCAS. It is really annoying. Teachers stress you out by saying you have to focus more. Learn more. They push you more and more to do good on the pre-test. Then they tell you to learn as hard as you can to pass the real test. I’ve been doing it for 3 years now so I’m used to it. It’s the teachers who are weird and crazy about the MCAS.