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Topic: [ncsm-members] Clear Creek TX sch. board resolution vs. high-stakes testing
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Jerry P. Becker

Posts: 16,576
Registered: 12/3/04
[ncsm-members] Clear Creek TX sch. board resolution vs. high-stakes testing
Posted: Mar 13, 2012 5:25 PM
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From Guy Brandenburg on the EDDRA2 listserve,
Tuesday, March 13, 2012. See
Clear Creek TX school board resolution vs. high-stakes testing

Guy Brandenburg writes that here is an excellent
resolution that has been passed by Clear Creek
School District, a large district near NASA, as
well as several other school boards in Texas. It
has been called "The shot heard around the
county." [see ] Why
not around the country? If Texas school boards
can pass this resolution, why shouldn't all
school boards in the nation adopt similar ones?



WHEREAS, the over reliance on standardized, high
stakes testing as the only assessment of learning
that really matters in the state and federal
accountability systems is strangling our public
schools and undermining any chance that educators
have to transform a traditional system of
schooling into a broad range of learning
experiences that better prepares our students to
live successfully and be competitive on a global
stage; and

WHEREAS, we commend Robert Scott, Commissioner of
Education, for his concern about the overemphasis
on high stakes testing that has become "a
perversion of its original intent" and for his
continuing support of high standards and local
accountability; and

WHEREAS, we believe our state's future prosperity
relies on a high-quality education system that
prepares students for college and careers, and
without such a system Texas' economic
competitiveness and ability and to attract new
business will falter; and

WHEREAS, the real work of designing more engaging
student learning experiences requires changes in
the culture and structure of the systems in which
teachers and students work; and

WHEREAS, what occurs in our classrooms every day
should be student-centered and result in students
learning at a deep and meaningful level, as
opposed to the superficial level of learning that
results from the current over-emphasis on that
which can be easily tested by standardized tests;

WHEREAS, We believe in the tenets set out in
Creating a New Vision for Public Education in
Texas (TASA, 2008) and our goal is to transform
this district in accordance with those tenets; and

WHEREAS, Our vision is for all students to be
engaged in more meaningful learning activities
that cultivate their unique individual talents,
to provide for student choice in work that is
designed to respect how they learn best, and to
embrace the concept that students can be both
consumers and creators of knowledge; and

WHEREAS, only by developing new capacities and
conditions in districts and schools, and the
communities in which they are embedded, will we
ensure that all learning spaces foster and
celebrate innovation, creativity, problem
solving, collaboration, communication and
critical thinking; and

WHEREAS, these are the very skills that business
leaders desire in a rising workforce and the very
attitudes that are essential to the survival of
our democracy; and

WHEREAS, imposing relentless test preparation and
boring memorization of facts to enhance test
performance is doing little more than stealing
the love of learning from our students and
assuring that we fall short of our goals; and

WHEREAS, we do not oppose accountability in
public schools and we point with pride to the
performance of our students, but believe that the
system of the past will not prepare our students
to lead in the future and neither will the
standardized tests that so dominate their
instructional time and block our ability to make
progress toward a world-class education system of
student-centered schools and future-ready
students; therefore be it

RESOLVED that the Clear Creek ISD Board of
Trustees calls on the Texas Legislature to
reexamine the public school accountability system
in Texas and to develop a system that encompasses
multiple assessments, reflects greater validity,
uses more cost efficient sampling techniques and
other external evaluation arrangements, and more
accurately reflects what students know,
appreciate and can do in terms of the rigorous
standards essential to their success, enhances
the role of teachers as designers, guides to
instruction and leaders, and nurtures the sense
of inquiry and love of learning in all students.

PASSED AND APPROVED on this 27 day of February, 2012.

Jerry P. Becker
Dept. of Curriculum & Instruction
Southern Illinois University
625 Wham Drive
Mail Code 4610
Carbondale, IL 62901-4610
Phone: (618) 453-4241 [O]
(618) 457-8903 [H]
Fax: (618) 453-4244

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