Contact Your Legislator in Support of HB2655

Allow parents to excuse their children from standardized test-taking, control the dissemination of their child’s test data, and influence educational assessment policy in our state.

The goal behind standardized testing is worthy: to allow school boards and departments of education to evaluate how well schools are delivering on their promise to educate students.Unfortunately, standardized tests:

  • disproportionately favor students who are good at test-taking, meaning valuable educational time is wasted teaching test-taking instead of real knowledge or useful skills
  • display inherent racial and economic bias on the part of test-makers
  • are often used as high-stakes means of rating teachers and schools, to the detriment of the learning environment
  • face questions around the competence of test-graders
  • don’t take into consideration social problems that children of low socioeconomic status bring with them to school (including hunger in many cases), or the fact that many of these children already lag their peers prior to kindergarten
Thus, standardized tests are flawed as a means of measuring academic improvement, and the main victims of the reliance on standardized testing “are exactly the people the civil rights groups want to help: teachers and students in high-poverty schools,” says Gary Orfield, co-director of the Civil Rights Project at UCLA (Washington Post, 4/10/15).HB 2655 aims to help Oregon parents voice their opposition to the flaws of standardized tests in our educational system by:

  • requiring notice at the beginning of each school year of the assessments their student is scheduled to take and what the goals of each assessment are
  • allowing them to excuse their children from taking these tests
  • providing for the right to limit the collection, storage, use, and transmittal of academic information and personally identifiable data about their student
  • requiring notice of the impact of student opt-outs on school performance reports
HB2655 is supported by both the Oregon Education Association and the Department of Education. It is the subject of a public hearing the Senate Committee on Education on May 5th–contact your legislator today and encourage them to support this bill!

 

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