A new group called Voices for Public Education has organized in Douglas County, Colorado. This is a district whose elected board favors market reforms and hired Bill Bennett to speak before the last election ($50,000), as well as paying Rick Hess to write a laudatory paper about its policies.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Innovation Schools Do Not Mean Less Testing
Highlands Ranch, Colorado -September 15, 2014 – Voices For Public Education (Voices) opposes the Douglas County Board of Education (BoE) resolution authorizing the submission of innovation waivers to the Colorado Board of Education and the BoE’s use of the Innovation Schools Act of 2008 to waive state assessments. The resolution passed at the September 2nd board meeting.
This resolution authorizes schools to submit waivers from testing required by the READ act to the Colorado Board of Education. These waivers will be submitted under provisions from the Innovation Schools Act. Voices for Public Education supports fewer high-stakes, state and district-mandated tests, but they do not support this resolution.
Amy DeValk, co-founder of Voices for Public Education, believes this resolution will not result in less testing. State-mandated tests will be replaced by district-mandated tests.
“Passing this resolution has nothing to do with standardized testing. The board is using testing as a distraction to the real intent of submitting Innovation Waivers. These waivers will allow the BoE to get out of state requirements they do not agree with, ultimately giving them the ability to implement their own agenda and testing with little to no oversight from the state. Teachers and parents need to learn what this really means for their school.”
Voices urges parents to demand community meetings regarding this resolution and to oppose its implementation. Voices also encourages parents to oppose all standardized testing, whether it is mandated by the state or the district. Parents should demand testing that supports learning and helps teachers to guide instruction.
About Voices for Public Education:
Voices for Public Education is dedicated to educating the community to empower individuals to act and take back our public schools.
We educate by:
• Bringing in national education experts to discuss education reform and offer alternatives
• Building personal relationships to tell our story
• Supporting other community groups fighting education reform
We empower by:
• Working with our school communities to develop actions to take back our schools
• Giving teachers, parents, students and community members a voice in decision-making
We act by:
• Creating actions for both quick “wins” and long term goals
• Providing the resources and information for people to take individual actions
• Partnering with and supporting other grassroots organizations
Amy DeValk, Voices for Public Education co-founder
Stefanie Fuhr, Voices for Public Education co-founder