Lori Drugan-Valdez 0

Petition for A Resolution on High Stakes Testing in Wantagh School District

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The undersigned Wantagh community members support the Wantagh Board of Education in passing a Resolution on High Stakes Testing. We strongly believe: ~Our school district is spending excessive amounts of time, money and energy on high-stakes standardized testing, in which student performance on standardized tests is used to make major decisions affecting individual students, educators and schools. ~The over reliance on high-stakes standardized testing in state and federal accountability systems is undermining educational quality in the Wantagh School District by hampering educators’ efforts to focus on the broad range of learning experiences and promote the innovation, creativity, problem-solving, collaboration, communication, critical thinking and deep subject-matter knowledge that will allow students to thrive in a democracy and an increasingly global society and economy. ~Standardized testing is an inadequate and often unreliable measure of both student learning and educator effectiveness. ~The over-emphasis on standardized testing has caused considerable collateral damage in our schools, including narrowing the curriculum, teaching to the test, reducing love of learning, creating anxiety in our students, and undermining the school climate. ~High-stakes standardized testing has negative effects for students from all backgrounds, and especially for low income students, English language learners, and those with disabilities. ~Race to the Top funding does not adequately address significant costs associated with the implementation of the new APPR and Common Core Learning Standards, such as hiring professionals to ensure local assessments at grades 4-8 are valid, or other test construction and implementation costs. ~New York State will require computer based testing statewide starting in 2014, requiring our district to build technological capacity to administer these high stakes tests, including the need to purchase computers, improve networks, develop infrastructure capacity, and train and hire personnel at a cost which significantly exceeds our current district budget. ~We do not oppose accountability in public schools and point with pride to the stellar performance of our students and teachers, but believe that standardized tests dominate instructional time and block our ability to make progress toward a first-rate education system of student-centered schools and future-ready students.

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