public officials, and newspapers.
a delegation of concerned citizens, and visit your state
legislators or other elected public officials.
Politicians will be much more likely to take your concerns seriously if
you speak to them in person.
Sponsor a forum on testing. Invite the media.
Sign up new members for your organization.
Make bumper stickers with slogans like "STANDARDIZED TESTING
IS DUMBING DOWN OUR SCHOOLS!"
participate in, and ensure press coverage for some form of
protest. This can include marches, demonstrations, and other
• Invite researchers in your
area to commission a survey.
Questions could include: Do the
tests improve students motivation? Do teachers think that tests
measure the curriculum fairly? How much money is spent on
assessment and related services? How do administrators use the
Challenge politicians, corporate
executives, public officials, and other
advocates of the 'tough standards' movement to
take the tests themselves. Do this especially if your
district uses high stakes exit exams, which are increasingly being used
to deny diplomas to students. You can go about issuing the
challenge in two ways. First, you can describe it as a private
invitation for these individuals to learn more about the tests.
The second approach is a bit less thinly veiled: set forth an outright
challenge. In one such instance, several top elected officials in
Florida were challenged to take the Florida Comprehensive Assessment
Test along with 735,000 students. All of these officials declined
the invitation. If using the second approach, you might want to
consider holding a press conference to publicly issue the challenge.
Imagine the public's response if top elected officials won't agree to
take the tests that they advocate!
• Consider filing a lawsuit against the tests on
the grounds that they are
inherently discriminatory or statistically invalid measuring
out. Some states have a clause that allows parents to
exempt their children from testing
just by notifying the authorities. Not many people are even aware
that these clauses exist, so do some investigating. If you find
out that such a clause does exist in your state, do your best to make
this information public knowledge. Though this may sound extreme,
in the case of their being no opt-out provision,
boycott the tests altogether.
Desperate times call for drastic measures.
Not only does Alfie Kohn
tell us why standardized tests are harmful to children, he also
describes a concrete approach that we can take to help fight this
detrimental system. The author makes it clear that it is not
enough to simply read this book, and consider yourself 'well-informed'
on the dangers of schools' excessive use of exams. He advocates
taking a proactive approach to the problem, and making yourself a part
of the fight against standardized testing.
PRINTABLE PAGE | BACK
| TOP |