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HISD Anti-Testing Resolution

HISD Anti-Testing Resolution

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Published by: enm077486 on May 14, 2012
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Office of Superintendent of Schools Board of Education Meeting of May 10, 2012 Office of the Board of Education Michael L. Lunceford, President SUBJECT: DISCUSSION AND CONSIDERATION REGARDING RESOLUTION CONCERNING HIGH STAKES TESTING ACCOUNTABILITY THE AND

The Houston Independent School District (HISD) school board is committed to ensuring a high quality educational experience for all children and recognizes the inclusion of objective measures of academic outcomes. However, “high stakes” testing cannot be allowed to dictate the ceiling for instruction for our students. Therefore, the HISD board president is bringing forward for discussion and consideration by the board, a resolution concerning high stakes, standardized testing of Texas Public School Students. The attached resolution calls on the state legislature to reconsider the current public school accountability system, with an eye toward developing a new system that better reflects what students actually know. As of April 13, 2012, 237 school districts across the state have adopted similar resolutions including Aldine ISD, Clear Creek ISD, Cypress-Fairbanks ISD, and Katy ISD. The proposed resolution is attached. COST/FUNDING SOURCE(S): STAFFING IMPLICATIONS: ORGANIZATIONAL GOALS/IMPACT: None None This agenda item supports HISD Goal 5: Improve Public Support and Confidence in Schools and aligns with Core Initiative 5: Culture of Trust through Action.


RECOMMENDED: That the Board of Education discuss and consider adoption of the TASA and TASB endorsed resolution concerning the high stakes, standardized testing of Texas public school students, effective May 11, 2012.


REVISED 05/07/12 Attachment B 4


WHEREAS, we believe that the mission of our public schools is to ensure that all Texas children have access to a quality education that enables them to achieve their potential and fully participate now and in the future in the social, economic, and educational opportunities of our state and nation; and WHEREAS, we support high standards and accountability for results for ourselves, our schools, our educators, and our students and their families; and WHEREAS, the over reliance on standardized, high stakes testing as the only assessment of learning that really matters in the state and federal accountability systems is strangling our public schools and undermining the transformation of a any chance that educators have to transform a traditional system of schooling into a broad range of learning experiences that better prepares our students to live successfully and be competitive on in a global stage economy; and WHEREAS, we commend Robert Scott, Commissioner of Education, for his concern about the overemphasis on high stakes testing that has become “a perversion of its original intent” and for his continuing support of high standards and local accountability; and
State-mandated standardized tests may affect as many as forty-five instructional days during the school year on a high school campus, and even interfere with the normal instructional activities of students not taking such tests; and”


WHEREAS, we believe our state’s future prosperity relies is dependent on a high-quality education system that prepares students for college and careers, and without such a system Texas’ economic competitiveness and ability and to attract new business will falter; and WHEREAS, the real work of designing more engaging student learning experiences requires changes in the culture and structure of the systems in which teachers and students work; and WHEREAS, what occurs in our classrooms every day should be student-centered and result in students learning at a deep and meaningful level, as opposed to the superficial level of learning that results from the current over-emphasis on that which can be easily tested by standardized tests; and WHEREAS, We believe in the tenets set out in Creating a New Vision for Public Education in Texas (TASA, 2008) and our goal is to transform this district in accordance with those tenets; and

vision is for all students to be engaged in more meaningful learning activities that cultivate their unique individual talents, to provide for students’ choice in work that is designed to respect how they learn best, and to embrace the concept that students can be both consumers and creators of knowledge; and



WHEREAS, only by developing new capacities and conditions in districts and schools, and the communities in which they are embedded, will we ensure that all learning spaces foster and celebrate innovation, creativity, problem solving, collaboration, communication and critical thinking; and WHEREAS, these are the very skills that business leaders desire in a rising workforce and the very attitudes that are essential to the survival of our democracy; and
imposing relentless test preparation and boring memorization of facts to enhance test performance is doing little more than stealing the love of learning from our students and assuring that we fall short of our goals; and


WHEREAS, we do not oppose accountability in public schools and we point with pride to the performance of our students, but believe that the system of the past will not prepare our students to lead in the future and neither will the standardized tests that so dominate their instructional time and block our ability to make while we believe that standardized tests are critical integral to accountability in public schools and point with pride to the performance of our students, we concur that making these tests the sole measure of accountability causes preparation for these tests to dominate instructional time, impeding progress toward a worldclass education system of student-centered schools and future-ready students; therefore be it. RESOLVED that the _____________ ISD Board of Trustees NOW THEREFORE, be it resolved that the Houston Independent School district Board of Education calls on the Texas Legislature to reexamine the public school accountability system in Texas and to develop a system that encompasses multiple assessments, reflects greater validity, reduces the number of instructional days affected by State-mandated standardized tests, and uses more cost efficient sampling techniques and other external evaluation arrangements, and more accurately reflects what students know, appreciate and can do in terms of the rigorous standards essential to their success, enhances the role of teachers as designers, guides to instruction and leaders, and nurtures the sense of inquiry and love of learning in all students.
PASSED AND APPROVED on this _____ day of _____________, 2012. By: ____________________ Name: Title: By: ____________________ Name: Title: By: ____________________ Name: Title: By: _____________________ Name: Title: By: _____________________ Name: Title: By: _____________________ Name: Title:

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