End High-Stakes Testing for all of Florida's Lee County Public Schools
August 19, 2014
To Members of the Lee County Board of Education:
We, the undersigned, current and future parents and caregivers of students in the Lee County School System, as well as, taxpayers and residents of Lee County, petition and support the Lee County School Board to vote to ignore all unfunded and underfunded high-stakes testing mandates for Lee County Public Schools and to refuse to administer these exams, including the associated practice and progress monitoring tests.
We support this petition for the following reasons:
1. Testing exists to serve our students. Our children do not exist to serve testing. These high-stakes tests offer NO benefits for our children.
2. Results from these high-stakes tests cannot be used as tools to improve teaching and learning since no one is allowed to see the graded test and scores arrive well after the student has finished his/her instruction for the year;
3. Money to administer these tests is diverted from real educational activities, to the detriment of our children, our schools, our District, and our community;
4. By design, these tests fail approximately 43% of all children in grades 3-8 and approximately 50% of our children in grades 9-12;
5.These test fail 85% of non-gifted Exceptional Student Education children, with learning differences like dyslexia;
6. These tests damage our children’s self-esteem and educational growth;
7. These tests are punitive in nature. They do not support improved learning.
8. The narrow focus of teaching to the tests deprives our children of their rights to a Constitutionally-required Free Appropriate Public Education;
9. The culture and structure of the systems in which students learn must change in order to foster engaging, well-rounded school experiences that promote joy in learning, depth of thought and breadth of knowledge;
10. Research has shown that children who are retained in the third grade due to testing suffer emotional damage and receive no educational benefit;
11. The practice of preparing for these tests offers no time or funding for the use of research-based instruction to help children learn to read;
12. Children who are denied a standard diploma solely on the merit of one test, will struggle to achieve their potential;
13. The practice of evaluating educators on the basis of scores from these flawed tests is invalid and degrading to the teaching profession;
14. The practice of grading a school based on these flawed tests is damaging to our property values.
Therefore, we, the undersigned, petition the Lee County Board of Education to vote to ignore unfunded and underfunded high-stakes testing mandates for our public schools in Lee County and to refuse to administer high-stakes tests, including the associated practice and progress monitoring tests, to our children.