By DASCHELL M. PHILLIPS
The Murray Elementary School local school council has released a resolution showing its support of a national campaign that is seeking to put an end to the way standardized tests are used.
Murray, 5335 S. Kenwood Ave., adopted the resolution from Time Out From Testing (TOFT), a national campaign against the use of tests to determine student promotion and teacher evaluation. The local branch of TOFT, More Than A Score, has been leading a local campaign encouraging parents to use their right to “opt-out” or refuse to allow their children to be given standardized tests.
During Murray’s Feb. 19 local school council (LSC) meeting the resolution was approved by a 9-0 vote with one absence and the principal abstaining.
“The LSC considered this resolution as a current policy issue and determined that we are in agreement with its aims and goals,” said Michael Scott, community representative of the Murray LSC. “As the LSC looked at the amount of time [that] is spent on mandated tests versus the time spent on other instruction we decided that this is a sensible thing to do.”
In the resolution the school is calling on the governor, General Assembly and Board of Education to reexamine how it uses tests results and develop a new system that does not rely heavily on standardized tests to determine student promotion and teacher effectiveness.
The resolution also calls for an overhaul of the No Child Left Behind Act, which would reduce the number of mandated tests, the strict set of guidelines toward preparing for the tests and fixed role for the use of student test scores in evaluating educators.