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Boycotting CSAP - Again!

Susan Notes:

Don Perl of the Coalition for Better Education reports that more parents are opting their children out of the state test. And they are encouraging others to do likewise. Here is news from one parent.

In Don's words:

But first and foremost, parents must exempt their children en masse for the machinations of politics to take notice. Teachers see themselves as being held captive. They know better, but they have mortgages to pay and children to send to college, so they have fallen prey as well to this malpractice, and in a sense have sold their professional souls. Our business at the Coalition for Better Education, Inc. is to inform the public of the tyranny of high stakes standardized testing, and let you know that we have literature, political buttons and bumper stickers to raise awareness and pass the word so that one day, we fervently hope, a critical mass is reached, and parents simply refuse to expose their children to this educational malpractice.
by Dave Chandler

It amounts to about two weeks of teaching time taken away by the pointless Colorado Student Assessment Program (CSAP) testing in high school this year.

Last Friday, I delivered a letter to my daughter's high school principal informing him that she would not be participating in the CSAP charade. This will be the fifth year that she has not been suppressed by this learning-killing, bureaucratic, political exercise.

I encourage others who want to promote teaching and learning to visit the web site of the Coalition for Better Educationand and use the opt out letter they have provided to empower yourselves and your children.

I note this year at Pomona High School just how much time is taken away from the classroom for these needless tests. (We already know what the test results will show: schools in lower socio-economic communities don't do a well as schools in high income neighborhoods.) After a morning of testing, the rest of the days in the first week get a grand total of about twenty minutes for student-teacher education. The second week of morning testing leaves classes with about forty minutes in a 'block' schedule (only three classes per day) -- which is less than the ordinary fifty-five minute classes.

In addition to loss of classroom time for the testing, there was the CSAP 'rally' last Friday, and the fact that juniors and seniors do not attend classes at all during the time periods when the rest of the school is being 'testing'.

Every year millions of dollars and hours and hours of valuable time that could be used to actually TEACH students is lost for what is in reality a ploy by politicians and educrats to try and prove to voters that they are being "accountable."

I certainly object to the top-down mandate of this high stakes standardized testing theory. We can thank "liberal" Governor Romer and "conservative" Governor Owens and "conservative" George W. Bush's 'No Child Left Behind' law for pushing this process on local school districts.

Finally, what have we received for the decade long CSAP experiment? Nothing -- as this report in the Denver Post just three months ago demonstrates: Third of Grads in State Trail in Basics.

So, instill a joy of learning in your student, show them that you care about the quantity and quality of their education -- boycott CSAP along with me this year!

— Dave Chandler



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