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Standards! Not Standardization!

Alternatives to High-Stakes Testing

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Parent Coalition
Parents in the Press

New York Students, Parents, Teachers Rebel Against State Exams
Wayne Ross, professor, SUNY Binghamton

Read Testimonies from parents of Consortium students.
Statements were made at the Blue Ribbon Panel (2001), and the Public Hearing on the Higher Standards for High Schools (1999)

Testimony Quotes

On portfolio presentations:
"...These are fifteen-year-old boys speaking about how they were learning, what they were learning, and how it applied to their lives. It was one of the most amazing experiences I have had as a parent who has been involved intimately with public schools in New York City."
--Liliana Lopez, parent at El Puente Academy for Peace and Justice

"When I come back home, I see my child, who is fourteen years old, and I see that she has never stopped growing. She learned that at school. During the weekends, she goes to the community garden to work on her biology projects. She goes to the Tenement Museum to learn about the immigrant experience of the people who came a hundred years ago to the Lower East Side. She never stops learning. That's coming from her school."
--Amy Velez, parent at Institute for Collaborative Education

"As an educator myself, I can't stress enough the importance of revising. This was a gift to Carl from Beacon. He worked harder than I have ever seen a teenager work. Don't forget: he was a teenage boy in Manhattan, and he could have been doing other things."
--Professor Jennifer Morgan, parent of Beacon graduate

"His first semester, my son did a humanities project and worked on it every day for a month. At midnight the night before it was due, he was up saying, "I have to revise! I have to revise!" This is my first experience of a non-traditional school. Who knew?"
--Barbara Goldstein, parent at School of the Future

"Life and learning are immensely more complex than the basic skills measured by conventional testing... I have seen ACS students not only master rigorous academic courses but also produce films, compose music, manage a local teen center, repair homes with Habitat for Humanity, and win prestigious awards in art and photography."
--Kathleen Damiani, Ph.D.

"It was one of the most challenging and beautiful experiences of my life to go through with him the research, the analyses, the group work, the teamwork that he had to go through to deal with developing his portfolios."
--Rhonda McLean-Nur, parent at Landmark High School

"At Beacon [my daughter] would have a chance to reconnect to her love of learning, -- to read, to think, to write, and to act -- in ways that support what I want to call not test literacy but true literacy."
--Sondra Perl, Ph.D., parent at the Beacon School

"High schools are saying, 'Well, we don't want to take [certain] students because we know we need to have a certain percentage of kids that are good test-takers to be able to pass the Regents... I also hear from some of the young people I work with that ... young people who are not successful test-takers and may have other problems are being encouraged [to] drop out of school, look into a GED program... Schools are very concerned about what their record looks like."
--Elise Rackmill-Benenson, parent of two students at School for the Physical City

"I moved down to New York City from our family dairy farm upstate because [our son] refused to go to the high school up there. ...My husband and I made some sacrifices so that our son could attend an alternative school. We've seen him move from ... refusing to go to school to feeling that school was fun, challenging, and interesting."
--Nancy Fales-Garrett, parent at East Side Community High School

Check out these articles about parents:

Boycotts and a Bill Protest Mandatory
NY Times

Students At Two Schools Boycott State English Exam
NY 1