Last Thursday, Saranac Lake School Board accepted the group’s position and issued their own challenge to state and national lawmakers to “reduce the testing mandates and promote multiple forms of evidence of student learning and school quality in accountability.”
“We are looking to where we can best effect change,” Smith said, “and to inform the community and ourselves about what impact testing has on children, on our schools and on education.
“The (alliance) is thrilled to get the support from the (School Board), and we thank them for their courage in passing this resolution. This does not mean they won’t administer the tests in our schools. This resolution is a statement to our State Board of Education that our school is not happy with the current system that puts so much emphasis on a testing process that is misguided and flawed.”
The state requires that all schools achieve a 95 percent participation rate in assessment tests and uses the data to issue a school report card and to assess teacher performance. Some school aid is based on test participation.
“There is room for assessment of teachers and of our school, but the emphasis is out of control on testing right now,” Smith said.
The stress levels put on students are unacceptable, she said, and the testing system negates sound educational values, she said.
“There needs to be a priority on teaching our children and not teaching them to perform for these tests.”
Email Kim Smith Dedam: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Saranac Lake Parent Faculty Education Alliance will hold an information session and screening of the film "Race to Nowhere," which raises issues about high-stakes testing.
The film will be shown at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at the Petrova School auditorium in Saranac Lake, with a discussion session to follow.
Information about the film and a trailer are online at: RacetoNowhere.com To learn more about the Saranac Lake Parent Faculty Education Alliance, find them on Facebook.