We the undersigned parents, caretakers, students, teachers, community members and taxpayers petition our governor, the Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, and the Massachusetts legislature to:
* Place a moratorium on the high-stakes uses of state-mandated tests and
* Begin a state-wide effort to design a better assessment system that can help our students reach their full potential in our democratic society.
Why is this important?
The primary purpose of assessment in our public schools should be to improve teaching and learning. However, the high-stakes tests mandated in Massachusetts offer little benefit for students. High-stakes testing stifles innovation, narrows the curriculum, and hinders students from developing advanced thinking and problem-solving skills. Even US Education Secretary Arne Duncan admits that “testing issues today are sucking the oxygen out of the room in a lot of schools.”
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