To: Bill de Blasio, Mayor-elect, NYC

Help us lower the stakes around testing for teachers and families in NYC!

Dear Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio,

You have spoken out in support of so many fantastic education policies. We’re hopeful that as you begin to put your policies in place, you will work to lower the high stakes of the New York State tests for New York City students and teachers.

We believe that valid assessments used thoughtfully by teachers and schools can be extremely useful. But we also believe New York’s testing program – as currently designed and practiced in grades 3-8 – is not educationally sound and should not be used to make high stakes decisions for students, teachers, principals, or schools.

While there are more aspects of high stakes testing that need to be changed, we ask that you take the following actions once in office:

1. End promotion tied to test scores.
2. End middle and high school admissions tied exclusively to test scores.
3. End school report cards based primarily on student test scores.

These changes won’t fix everything, but they'd be a great start in helping to lower the weight these high stakes tests are currently placing on teachers and their students.

Why is this important?

Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio is about to take office. He has spoken out in support of so many fantastic education policies. We’re hopeful that as he starts to put his policies in place, he can work to lower the high stakes of the New York State tests for New York City students and teachers.

We have put together this petition urging him to do just that. And we need your help to spread the word. Time is of the essence, as we anticipate many of the new educational policies that will ensue under this new administration will start to go into effect shortly following the transition.

We believe that valid assessments used thoughtfully by teachers and schools can be extremely useful. But we also believe New York’s testing program – as currently designed and practiced in grades 3-8 – is not educationally sound and should not be used to make high stakes decisions for students, teachers, principals, or schools.

While there are many things about the high stakes tests that we would eventually like to see changed, there are three specific aspects that Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio has direct control over and will be able to change:

1. Ending promotion tied to test scores
2. Ending middle and high school admissions tied exclusively to test scores
3. Ending school report cards based primarily on student test scores

These changes won’t fix everything. But they’re a great start – and they represent changes Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio would be able to make himself.

So join us in reaching out to him and urging him to help us lower the stakes surrounding testing in NYC… and lowering the weight they are currently placing on our teachers and our students by signing this petition.

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