Authors of Books for Children are Alarmed at CCSS & RTTT and Testing

FairTest                          

National Center for Fair & Open Testing

for further information:

Dr. Monty Neill  (617) 477-9792

Bob Schaeffer  (239) 395-6773

for immediate release — Tuesday, October 22, 2013

120+ CHILDREN’S BOOK AUTHORS AND ILLUSTRATORS TELL PRES. OBAMA,

“WE ARE ALARMED AT NEGATIVE IMPACTS OF EXCESSIVE SCHOOL TESTING”

SIGNERS INCLUDE MAYA ANGELOU, JUDY BLUME, JULES FEIFFER, DONALD CREWS

SAY POLICIES UNDERMINE “CHILDREN’S LOVE OF READING AND LITERATURE”

        More than 120 leading authors and illustrators of books for children, including several national award winners, are calling on President Obama to “change the way we assess learning so that schools nurture creativity, exploration, and a love of literature.”

        Their letter delivered to the White House today stated, “Our public schools spend far too much time preparing for reading tests and too little time curling up with books that fire their imaginations.”

         “All children must have the freedom to grow, to evolve, to develop,” explained acclaimed poet Maya Angelou, who spoke at President Obama’s inauguration. “We parents, authors, illustrators are standing up for our children. We desperately need you and your administration to stand with us.”
         The authors’ and illustrators’ letter continued, “We are alarmed at the negative impact of excessive school testing mandates, including your administration’s own initiatives, on children’s love of reading and literature. Recent policy changes by your Administration have not lowered the stakes. On the contrary, requirements to evaluate teachers on student test scores impose more standardized exams and crowd out exploration.”

         Signers of a “Public Letter on Standardized Testing from Authors and Illustrators of Books for Children and Youth” include such other notables as Alma Flor Ada, Judy Blume, Jules Feiffer, and Donald Crews, as well as National Book Award winners Kathryn Erskine and Phillip Hoose.

The National Center for Fair & Open Testing (FairTest) coordinated signature gathering for the letter. The assessment reform organization’s executive director, Dr. Monty Neill, explained, “The authors and illustrators recognize the damage done to young children by testing overkill. The new Common Core assessments will not reverse the damage. In fact, they will mandate more standardized exams in more grades.  It is time for an indefinite moratorium on high-stakes exams.”

 

- – 3 0 – -

 

- The letter to President Obama with a complete signers’ list of children’s authors and illustrators is online at: http://www.fairtest.org/public-letter-on-standardized-testing-by-childrens-authors

 

- A fact sheet on Common Core assessments is at: http://fairtest.org/common-core-assessments-factsheet

Another Weekly News Roundup from Monty Neill of FairTest

Writes Monty:

Even with the holiday season well underway, the pace of assessment reform news has not slackened. In fact, important new voices, including educational leaders, business officials, and students are joining the ever-growing chorus pushing back against high-stakes testing overkill.
Montgomery County School Chief Seeks Three-Year Moratorium on High-Stakes Testing
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2012/12/10/moco-schools-chief-calls-for-three-year-moratorium-on-standardized-testing/

Political Leaders, Chamber of Commerce Endorses Anti-High-Stakes-Testing Resolution
http://lubbockonline.com/education/2012-12-10/area-civic-leaders-school-districts-sign-resolution-opposing-high-stakes#.UMd_X2fNmSo

State Ed. Board Chair Questions Need for Testing This Year
http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2012/dec/11/state-education-board-chairman-questions-need-test/?kansas_legislature

Get Ready for America’s Next “Education Crisis”
http://blog.ourfuture.org/20121206/get-ready-for-americas-next-education-crisis

Students Voice Opposition to New Testing Requirement
http://digital.olivesoftware.com/Olive/ODE/ProJo/LandingPage/LandingPage.aspx?href=VFBKLzIwMTIvMTIvMTE.&pageno=MTA.&entity=QXIwMTAwMw..&view=ZW50aXR5

More Selective Colleges Drop SAT/ACT Testing Requirements — A Model for K-12 Education
http://www.golocalprov.com/lifestyle/college-admissions-roger-williams-drops-sat-act-requirement/
http://www.usnewsuniversitydirectory.com/articles/more-colleges-go-test-optional-for-admissions_12816.aspx#.UMiz_2ck6So

Excellent ‘Toon:  “Do Any of You Want to Teach?”
http://bobsidlethoughtsandmusings.files.wordpress.com/2012/09/603733_409068182482401_1998295642_n.jpg

The Terrible Cost of High-Stakes Testing — sponsoring a local forum on the issue is a great initial organizing tool
http://www.golocalprov.com/news/aaron-regunberg-the-terrible-cost-of-high-stakes-testing/

Student Testing Gets an “F” From Teachers
http://www.care2.com/causes/student-testing-gets-an-f-from-teachers.html

Too Much Testing Hurts Kids Who Most Need Help — a teacher speaks out
http://www.tcdailyplanet.net/news/2012/12/09/st-paul-teacher-too-much-testing-hurts-kids-who-need-help-most

What Real School Reform Looks Like
http://www.alternet.org/education/what-real-school-reform-looks

Tests Confuse “Achievement” with “Aptitude” — Lead to Bad Education
http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2012/12/12/14powell.h32.html

Trying to Revive Arts Education After NCLB
http://diverseeducation.com/article/50028/

Bob Schaeffer, Public Education Director
FairTest: National Center for Fair & Open Testing
ph- (239) 395-6773 fax- (239) 395-6779
cell- (239) 699-0468
web-http://www.fairtest.org


Monty Neill, Ed.D.; Executive Director, FairTest; P.O. Box 300204, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130; 617-477-9792; http://www.fairtest.org; Donate to FairTest: https://secure.entango.com/donate/MnrXjT8MQqk

 

Published in: on December 18, 2012 at 1:22 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: ,
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 404 other followers