DISCLAIMER: Ed McKeon is a member of the Middletown Board of Education. He publishes this news item as a public service. It is posted by Ed as a citizen journalist, as a parent of school age children, as a taxpayer, voter and citizen of Middletown and Connecticut and as an individual. His name on this blogpost does not indicate or should not imply an endorsement by the Middletown Board of Eduation, of Parents Across America, CT chapter, or the petition they are circulating.
Parents Across America, whose stated goals include improving education without privitization, high-stakes testing, and who encourage the use of research-based reform, and tackling poverty, have issued a petition to reduce the use of standardized testing in Connecticut public schools.
Jonathan Pelto, an critic of the current education-reform efforts in the state and whose Wait, What? blog has challenged the state's usurpation of local school boards, also challenges the use of increased testing:
"The evidence could not be clearer. Poverty, language barriers and percent of students who need special education services are the three greatest predictors of standardized test scores. Faced with the challenge of confronting those issues, corporate “education reformers” say those problems can be resolved simply by adding more standardized testing and then using those results to inappropriately identify which teachers should be retained and which should be fired. The logic of their strategy is beyond absurd."
The petition itself claims: "the over-emphasis on standardized testing has caused considerable collateral damage in too many schools, including narrowing the curriculum, teaching to the test, reducing love of learning, pushing students out of school, driving excellent teachers out of the profession, and undermining school climate."