Tim Slekar gave a powerful speech to a meeting in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Watch it.
If all of us spoke out, we could stop this train wreck that dares to call itself “reform.”
A teacher who heard him wrote this letter:
You won’t believe what I just did!
I stood before my school board at a public meeting and asked them to
consider opting out of standardized testing!
I was asked to speak on the writing process in 8th grade, but as the meeting
went on and teacher after teacher and administrator after administrator
praised the achievements we were reaching with test prep, computer programs
and data, something snapped. I said to myself, if I’m going to be here I
might as well tell the truth.
So when it was finally my turn, I said I had good news and bad news. The bad
news was that there’s an elephant in the room we haven’t been addressing. I
told them I had severe reservations about high stakes standardized testing
and went on to explain them. I told them 8th graders conservatively take 7-9
standardized tests: PSSA Reading, PSSA Math, PSSA Writing, PSSA Science,
Three GRADE tests, Keystone Algebra and Keystone Literature! I told them
there was no academic study showing this was effective – in fact just the
opposite. I told them these tests don’t measure learning, only achievement.
I told them how parents, teachers and school boards were opting out. And I
told them about you and much more.
When I was done, most of the board agreed with me. They thanked me for
speaking out. My principal slapped me on the back and said it had to be
I asked the board to please meet with you and consider it.
I have my doubts they’ll follow through, but this is a big step. Would you
mind if I sent them your contact info? I’d love to get us all sitting down
at a table or to have you address the board at a public meeting. Would you
My school district is Steel Valley in Munhal. We’re pretty close to
Anyway, I just wanted to share this with you. I feel good for speaking out
but would like to build on this. Unfortunately there were hardly any members
of the public there and NO media.