Panel to discuss pushback on high-stakes testing
by Helen Gym on May 14 2013 Posted in Commentary
High-stakes testing and communities pushing back have been all over the news lately. Just this week, Senate Democratic leaders held a press conference opposing the implementation of Keystone exams, mandatory end-of-course state exams that will go into effect for September's 9th-grade class. Amid a backdrop of unprecedented statewide cuts under the Corbett administration, Senate leaders said the Keystones would "cost taxpayers dearly" and were being implemented "without a full understanding of the benefits for students, teachers, administrators, and taxpayers.”
In fact, Keystone Exams, which were reported to cost as much as $176 million to develop and will cost districts $31 million per year to implement, are just the latest round in the high-stakes testing battle. The narrative of "failing schools" has been used to justify all manner of interventions: charter schools, union busting, value-added teacher evaluations, and school closures. In the war on public education, testing is the weapon of choice.
Tomorrow, I'll join City University of New York professor Michelle Fine and longtime teacher and Rethinking Schools editor Stan Karp in a panel to unpack the pushback on high-stakes testing. From Seattle to Chicago to Philadelphia, parents are opting out and communities are starting to organize against the individual and collective damage of these tests.
Striking Back at High-Stakes Testing: A Rethinking Schools Conversation
Wednesday, May 15, 4:30-6 p.m.
Arch Street United Methodist Church
55 N. Broad St.
Suggested donation is $10.
For more information and to register for the event, contact Helen Gym at firstname.lastname@example.org
Read my colleague Sam Reed's review of Rethinking Schools' latest book, Pencils Down: Rethinking high-stakes testing and accountability in public schools