Oppose High Stakes Standardized Tests!

Whereas high stakes standardized tests represent a powerful intrusion into America's classrooms, often taking up as much as 30% of teacher time,

And whereas the tests pretend that one standard fits all, when one standard does not fit all, 

And whereas these tests measure, for the most part, parental income and race, and are therefore instruments which build racism and anti-working class sentiment--against the interest of most teachers and their students,

And whereas these tests deepen the segregation of children within and between school systems, a move that is not in the interests of most people in the US,

And whereas the tests set up a false employer-employees relationship between teachers and students which damages honest exchanges in the classroom, 

And whereas we have seen repeatedly that the exams are unprofessionally scored, for example in New York where thousands of students were unnecessarily ordered to summer school on the grounds of incorrect test results,

And whereas the tests create an atmosphere that pits students against students and teachers against teachers and school systems against school systems in a mad scramble for financial rewards, and to avoid financial retribution,

And whereas the tests have been used to unjustly fire and discipline teachers throughout the country,

And whereas the exams represent an assault on academic freedom by forcing their way into the classroom in an attempt to regulate knowledge, what is known and how people come to know it,

And whereas the tests foment an atmosphere of greed, fear, and hysteria, none of which contributes to learning, 

And whereas the tests destroy inclusion and inquiry-based education,

And whereas the high-stakes test pretend to neutrality but are deeply partisan in content, 

And whereas the tests become commodities for opportunists whose interests are profits, not the best interests of children, 

Be it therefore resolved that the National Council for the Social Studies join with the National Council of Teachers of English, the International Reading Association, and the American Educational Research Association in supporting long-term authentic assessment, opposing all high-stakes standardized examinations such as, but not limited to, the SAT9 in California, the Michigan MEAP, the Texas TAAS, and the New York Regents Exam. Moreover we support student and educator boycotts of the exams. 

Sponsored by The Rouge Forum, The Whole Schooling Consortium, E. Wayne Ross, Rich Gibson, 

Amber Goslee, Kevin Vinson, Perry Marker, David Hursh, Steve Fleury, Judy Depew, Greg Queen, Katy Landless