In this newsletter:
- Uniting4Kids Fundraising Event – Will you partner with us?
- See you on Social Media – Thanks Scott McCleod@McCleod
- Video -Students, Teachers and Parents ask Colorado BOE – “Stop High-Stakes Testing”
We’re wishing you a happy spring and sending along a personal invite to our Uniting4Kids Fundraiser:
This is important work because who educates America’s children and for what purposes matters to you, your community, and our shared future. The planet, democracy, the economy and our humanity will be decided by the generations we leave behind. The state of education matters greatly to all of us.
We, at Uniting4Kids, have made a lot of progress. We have a stellar group of leaders working in a targeted fashion to champion kids and a viable public education. We’re growing and we’re getting better and we still lack the resources to counter the corporate interests that work against the basic needs of students and the best practices of education. It’s a big job and we need your help. Would you be willing to partner with us by making a donation?
Below is the Uniting4kids Fundraising event link. Even if you can’t make the event, please consider making your donation a monthly occurrence:
Saturday, April 22nd @ 6:30pm – 6081 S. Spotswood St, Littleton CO 80120 – http://evite.me/CZXJDUURP8
Special thanks to Scott McCleod and the CU Denver School of Education and Human Development for a truly exceptional, “Social Media 4 Educational Activism Training.” We had a great turn out and learned a great deal about reaching more people, more efficiently. If every advocate took this training, we could change the message. It was that GOOD! Please express your gratitude by following Scott on Twitter at: Scott McCleod – @mcleod
Uniting4Kids and Partners Address Colorado State Board of Education:
Thank you to the education leaders and advocates who delivered compelling public testimony to the Colorado State Board of Education. Molly Gilpin, Zach Cheiko, Carol March, Audrey Gilpin, Tim Krug, Teresa Smith, Eve Cohen-Porter, Lynn Roberts.
Watch student, Zach Cheiko’s, three minutes on how he was threatened with suspension and arrest for distributing Opt Out information at his High School:
Read Molly Gilpin’s eye opening Testimony:
Good morning, my name is Molly Gilpin, I am a parent of two DPS students and a pediatric physician assistant. I am compelled to be here today, along with my oldest daughter, to ask you to put a stop to high stakes standardized testing in our public schools.
At the end of my daughter’s second grade year I asked her if she was excited to be a third grader. She didn’t hesitate to answer, “No, I’ll have to take PARCC.” The fact that this test weighed so heavily on her prior to even beginning her summer break, let alone her 3rd grade year, broke my heart. Schooling provides opportunities to our children through education and there is no educational benefit to high stakes testing. This is particularly true when normal school schedules and classes are interrupted every Spring to practice and teach toward a test.
My children attend a dual language school where half of their classmates are native Spanish speakers. They have absolutely no second language courses the weeks before testing. During the weeks of testing they limit their dual language courses further; essentially eliminating an entire month of bilingual education. The rich cultural diversity of this school is why my husband and I chose to have our children attend. The PARCC tests are culturally biased, economically biased and punitive to the teachers.
My days in pediatric practice during the spring months quickly fill up with anxiety complaints, vague complaints of pain and trouble sleeping from children 3rd grade and up. When talking with these patients and parents about their concerns and what has caused a rise in symptoms I hear time and again that they feel a huge amount of pressure to perform well for their school. “For their schools” – you see even the children know these tests aren’t about them or for them. PARCC isn’t about testing knowledge but about big corporate money and about evaluating a teacher’s ability to teach to a test.
When I encounter truly ill patients that should not be sent to school during this time period I am often met with tears when I tell them they should stay home from school. These tears are because the students are afraid of what will happen to them if they miss any testing. I will mention that make up days are built into the testing schedule and that the tests are actually not mandatory and they tell me adamantly they have been told they “have to take the test” by teachers and administrators.
In opting out, I honor my daughter’s emotional and mental well-being, I honor the diverse culture of the peers that make up her school. I honor the teachers that give tirelessly of themselves to these students. When implementing testing in such a high stakes manner we show no respect for the art of teaching as well as the art of learning. This is what I honor; for in teaching as in medicine, there is an art form.
So I ask you, how is high stakes testing serving our children when learning is lost? The answer is simple, it isn’t. The high stakes testing has to stop.