Dear Roberta M.,
All children deserve a rich, meaningful public education that prepares them for the opportunities, responsibilities and challenges that await them as they become contributing members of a democratic society. Growing our nationís future citizens and workers is a serious undertaking that calls for a thoughtful focus on teaching and learning.
But the growing fixation on high-stakes testing has undermined that focus, putting at grave risk our studentsí learning and their ability both to meet the demands of the 21st-century economy and to fulfill their personal goals.
Add your name to the thousands of Americans taking a stand to restore balance to public education by prioritizing high-quality instruction informed by appropriate and useful assessments.
The AFT executive council recently passed a resolution calling for an end to Americaís fixation on high-stakes testing. Assessments should promote, not impede, teaching and learning. Thatís the clear stand thousands of educators will consider this July when they gather for the AFT national convention in Detroit.
Test-driven education policies have forced educators to sacrifice time needed to help students learn to critically analyze content and, instead, focus on teaching to the test. These policies have pushed passionate, talented educators out of classrooms, misled parents about their children's academic strengths and needs, and deprived children of the rich learning experiences they need in order to succeed in a 21st-century knowledge economy. And far too many examples exist of tests riddled with errors and as such serve as unreliable indicators of student performance.
By every credible measure, the testing fixation rooted in the No Child Left Behind Act has failed our students. Join thousands of educators and pledge your support for the resolution on using tests to inform, not impede, teaching and learning.
We are committed to restoring balance to public education, and ensuring that assessments support teaching and learning. Together, we can guarantee every child the high-quality public education they deserve, and ensure that educators have the tools and resources they need to help our children learn and grow.
I hope you will join us.
P.S. You can read the full text of the proposed resolution here.