PTA’s National Senior Policy analyst, Jacque Chevalier responded to email inquiries this week regarding the National Resolution of High Stakes Testing, and said the following:
We are sending it out to encourage State and Local PTAs to endorse the Resolution.
NPTA isn’t able to officially endorse the resolution – we are in alignment. It would have to be voted on by membership at our convention and we can’t get that to happen at this point – we are sending it out via social media to encourage state and local PTAs to endorse.”
Chevalier also emphasized that PTA already has a similar position statement that reads as follows:
“PTA opposes the use of a national, mandated, standardized test as the sole criterion for measuring a school’s or student’s progress.
An assessment system should evaluate higher-order skills, including students’ abilities to use technology, conduct research, engage in scientific investigation, and solve problems.
An accountability system should include other indicators of educational quality, such as competency of teaching staff, class size, parent involvement, facility condition, and quality of instructional materials.
PTA also believes that states and schools must have the resources – including adequate financial and technical support – to address specific problems and ensure that schools can meet high standards.
Student assessment should identify how instruction and learning can be improved.
Assessments should be used to help parents and teachers determine the specific academic needs of students and increase opportunities for student learning. Assessments should not be used for high-stakes determinations such as grade promotion or graduation.”
The nations most influential education reformers in Jeb Bush, Michelle Rhee and Arne Duncan would have you believe that they are speaking for the nation’s parents. Yet their test-dominated philosophy is at odds with the nation’s oldest and largest parent organization.
Florida PTA groups were part of the broad parent coalition which defeated parent trigger in March. With reports indicating that other state school boards will be taking up the Resolution within the next few weeks, local PTAs will give board members supportive of the measure the political cover they may be looking for.