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Moratorium on Standardized Tests

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Moratorium on Standardized Tests

While there are currently seventeen standardized tests mandated by the State of Tennessee for high school students to take; there are an additional five tests mandated by Shelby County Schools District. We, the students of Shelby County Schools are requesting that there should be a reduction in the number of tests and the amount of time it takes administer a test. A test should not take over a standard classroom period so that it does not cause the school logistical problems or disruptive to the learning environment.

The undersigned persons, being students, parents, and the community of the State of Tennessee and Shelby County Schools District, hereby petition the Tennessee House of Representative and Senate and the Shelby County Schools Board Members to:

Enact a moratorium on all new state and district standardized tests among students, and reduce or eliminate existing mandated tests. We also request that the length of standardized tests not exceed standard classroom time. According to educational researcher Gregory J. Cizek, there are a plethora of accounts "illustrating how testing... produces gripping anxiety in even the brightest students, and makes young children vomit or cry, or both.” To be as blunt and as clear as possible, over-testing solves nothing. Out of all the reasons why we believe this to be true, one distinctive reason is there is also too much reliance on a test to prove one’s worth or rank. How can a few objective questions possibly be used to tell someone that they are not shrewd enough to live up to a certain potential; or use those same detached questions to measure one’s ability to succeed? According to the late educational researcher Gerald W. Bracey, PhD, qualities that standardized tests cannot measure include "creativity, critical thinking, resilience, motivation, persistence, curiosity, endurance, reliability, enthusiasm, empathy, self-awareness, self-discipline, leadership, civic-mindedness, courage, compassion, resourcefulness, sense of beauty, sense of wonder, honesty, integrity." Sadly, while standardized testing is not the correct route to take, with little action, it will be the only one available for years to come.

Please join the students of Shelby County by signing this petition to enact a moratorium on standardized testing.

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