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To:  The President, Congress, and the Governors of All 50 States

Rouge Forum Petition on the Big Tests
(http://www.pipeline.com/~rgibson/rouge_forum)
  
  

Whereas high stakes standardized tests, an international phenomenon, represent a powerful intrusion into classrooms, often taking up as much as 40% of teacher time,

And whereas the tests pretend that one standard fits all, when one standard does not fit all,

And whereas these tests measure, for the most part, parental income and race, and are therefore instruments which build racism and anti-working class sentiment--against the interest of most teachers and their students,

And whereas these tests deepen the segregation of children within and between school systems, a move that is not in the interests of most people throughout the world,

And whereas inner-city families and poor families are promised tests as an avenue to escape the ghetto and poverty, when the tests are designed to fail their children, boosting dropouts, leaving more children trapped in the ghetto and poverty, deepening inequality and all forms of injustice,

And whereas the tests set up a false employer-employees relationship between teachers and students which damages honest exchanges in the classroom,

And whereas we have seen repeatedly that the exams are unprofessionally scored, for example in New York in 2000 when thousands of students were unnecessarily ordered to summer school on the grounds of incorrect test results,

And whereas the tests create an atmosphere that pits students against students and teachers against teachers and school systems against school systems in a mad scramble for financial rewards, and to avoid financial retribution,

And whereas the tests have been used to unjustly fire and discipline educators throughout the country,

And whereas the exams represent an assault on academic freedom by forcing their way into the classroom in an attempt to regulate knowledge, what is known and how people come to know it,

And whereas the tests foment an atmosphere of greed, fear, and hysteria, none of which contributes to learning,

And whereas the tests destroy inclusion and inquiry-based education,

And whereas the high-stakes test pretend to neutrality but are deeply partisan in content, reflecting the needs of elites in a world becoming more inequitable, less democratic,

And whereas the tests become commodities for opportunists whose interests are profits, not the best interests of children,

And whereas education organizations like the faculty association of the National Council for the Social Studies, the National Council of Teachers of English, the International Reading Association, and the American Educational Research Association have all supported long-term authentic assessment, and opposed high-stakes standardized examinations such as, but not limited to, the SAT9 in California, the Michigan MEAP, the Texas TAAS,, SOL in VA, FCAT in Florida, MCAS in Massachusetts, OPT in Ohio, and the New York Regents Exam,

And whereas there is a rising tide of education-worker resistance to the high-stakes exams, as well as student and educator boycotts:

Be it therefore resolved that we the undersigned sign this petition as an indication of our support for authentic long-term assessment in schools, and our support for popular resistance to the tests, particularly teach-ins, job actions and boycotts–and creative civil strife such as theater, art, songs, demonstrations,sit-ins, and other methods to inform, unleash creativity, and resist.

Sponsored by The Rouge Forum, The Whole Schooling Consortium, E. Wayne Ross, Rich Gibson, Michael Peterson, Sandra Mathison, Susan Ohanian, Staughton Lynd, Amber Goslee, Susan Harman, Kevin Vinson, Valerie Pang, Perry Marker, David Hursh, Steve Fleury, Judy Depew, Greg Queen, Katy Landless, Patrick Shannon, Kathleen Keeson, George Schmidt, Sharon Schmidt, Marty Kaye, David Strom
 
 

Sincerely,

The Undersigned
 
 

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The Rouge Forum Petition on the Big Tests Petition to The President, Congress, and the Governors of All 50 States was created by Educators, students, parents, community members, anyone seeking a democratic society and written by Rich Gibson.  This petition is hosted here at www.PetitionOnline.com as a public service. There is no express or implied endorsement of this petition by Artifice, Inc. or our sponsors. The petition scripts are created by Mike Wheeler at Artifice, Inc.  For Technical Support please use our simple Petition Help form.

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