News Release

Parents Boycott Testing


The Washington Post reports: “Students in various grades in New York schools will start taking high-stakes standardized tests on Tuesday…”

Parents from children in 33 New York public schools are boycotting testing.

Hirschmann is the parent of three public school children and co-founder of Time Out From Testing an organization which since 1996 has fought the use of excessive and high stakes testing in New York State. She said today: “New York City has one of the most draconian testing policies in the entire country. Under Mayoral control, Bloomberg’s policies emphasize the use of test scores to make critical decisions in student promotion, school report card grades, school closings and teacher evaluations. These tests are indeed high-stakes.

“Significantly, New York’s elite private schools do not administer the high-stakes Regents exams. They have opted out, arguing that high-stakes tests ruin teaching and dumb down the curriculum. Public school parents want no less than what Bloomberg, many NYS Regents and even our President have: a quality education for their children without yearly high stakes tests.”

Sopp is the parent of a child in the Brooklyn public schools. She said today: “I have tried to raise my daughter in a way that she can keep her open and creative spirit in tact for as long as possible. The truth is, children get only one shot at childhood, and it’s my responsibility as a parent to protect her from what intuitively feels wrong. It only makes sense to me that a sound education based on a practice of inquiry, discovery, creativity, and exploration will provide the right learning conditions for any child, from any country in any neighborhood. This kind of foundation for learning is not exclusive for those in private schools.

“I chose to opt my daughter out of the third grade tests last year for so many reasons. Once I learned that these tests were being used for a variety of unfair and unjust punishments not only to promotions but to teacher evaluations and most painfully, school closures, it became impossible for me to agree to align with this education misuse and malpractice. I believe there are more sound and just ways to evaluate children as well as teachers and schools. When these tests are created by educators who base education and assessment on these principles, it may happen that we can align ourselves with this testing.

“Surrounding me are hundreds, thousands, maybe tens of thousands of parents who feel the same this year. More are taking the step to ‘refuse the tests.’ Surely more will follow. Some have chosen a different route that feels right for their family. What is clear from all of this is that parents don’t see their children as a test score and they are making their voices heard.”