And Now There are Nine: Pinellas School Board Passes Resolution Against High-Stakes Testing


From Cara Fitzpatrick writing in GRADEBOOK:

The Pinellas County School Board passed an anti-testing resolution after a lengthy discussion Tuesday.

The board voted 6-1 in favor of the resolution, with board member Glenton Gilzean dissenting. All but Gilzean praised the resolution as a long-awaited message to the state.

Linda Lerner said she’d been waiting years for “something like this.”

“I say thank goodness this is finally in our hands,” she said.

Peggy O’Shea said the FCAT has been used in ways that were never intended.

“I think it’s time that the state take a look at the test and say, ‘Is this the right test?’” she said.

But Gilzean said he was “extremely disappointed” in some of the language included in the resolution. He took issue with the resolution saying that all students were negatively affected by testing – and questioned whether it was appropriate to single out low-income, disabled and minority students in particular.

“Are we agreeing that it negatively affects all students? Wow,” he said.

Pinellas Classroom Teachers Association president Kim Black brought forward the “National Resolution Against High-Stakes Testing” in late May. It was first adopted in Palm Beach County. It has been adopted in many other counties, including Broward, St. Lucie, Osceola and Alachua.

The resolution was written by Parents Across America, a non-profit organization, in collaboration with a variety of education groups. It was modeled after a resolution passed by school boards in Texas.

The other local Florida boards who have passed similar resolutions are Okaloosa, Palm Beach, Indian River and Martin counties.

UPDATE: Leslie Postal of the Orlando Sentinel reports that Pinellas makes it 12.

About Bob Sikes

A long time ago and a planet far, far away I was an athletic trainer for the New York Mets. I was blessed to be part of the now legendary 1986 World Series Championship. My late father told me that I'd one day be thankful I had that degree in teaching from Florida State University. He was right and I became twice blesses to become a teacher in the late 1990's. After dabbling with writing about the Mets and then politics, I settled on education.
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