Sign the Testing Bill of Rights!

TestBetter-Promo1National PTA is pleased to join forces with the Center for American Progress (CAP), America Achieves and the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP), among others in support of the Testing Bill of Rights to ensure assessments are fair, reliable, relevant and aligned to high-quality standards.

The Testing Bill of Rights outlines the need to accurately measure student learning in a way that is useful for parents and teachers and less burdensome for students. As states continue to transition to higher standards and a new generation of high-quality tests come to fruition, more needs to be done at state and local levels to address over testing and provide greater transparency about the purpose and benefits of each test. No parent wants their child reduced to a test score, and assessment results should be used to inform instruction, provide parents and communities with information about whether students are working at grade level or are struggling, and allow teachers to diagnose and help their students. The launch of the Testing Bill of Rights is part of a campaign led by CAP to educate school leaders, students, teachers, and parents about the need for better, fairer and fewer tests.

National PTA understands the frustration that parents, students and educators have expressed regarding over testing. However, instead of walking away from assessments themselves, National PTA seeks to empower and engage parents in the important conversations around the amount and types of tests students take as well as advocate for parents to be at the table as these discussions occur at state and local levels. Parents are an important part of the solution to improve assessments, and we can’t walk away from this responsibility.

The association believes that in order to provide the most accurate information to parents, educators, schools, districts and states all students must participate in required state assessments. The information gathered from assessments helps to make sure all students and schools are receiving the necessary resources and supports in order to reach their full potential. Additionally, if we do not have full data sets, we won’t know if the assessments actually do what they are designed or purported to do.

National PTA has always believed that educational improvements and increased well-being for our nation’s children comes from engaged and empowered parents and families. The parent voice is critical in the discussion around educational equity. Parents must be part of the solution for fairer, better and fewer tests.

National PTA urges you to sign the Testing Bill of Rights to ensure students are taking high-quality and aligned assessments, parents have accurate information on their child’s progress and achievement and teachers have a tool that helps improve instruction.


Jacki Ball is the director of government affairs at National PTA.

Comments

  1. Jeanette Deutemann says:

    National PTA is a disgrace. I will never give another dime to PTA again. I will advocate for others to do the same. Get your priorities right and break from corporate reformers or you will lose the entire country.

  2. Lisa Davis says:

    I am so disappointed with your choice of partners. As a PTA local leader, I feel you do not represent me or my fellow PTA members who do not support the current educational reform. America Achieves? Center for American Progress? They are clearly pushing common core agenda.

    Please refer to the video posted on Funny or Die. Many of YOUR MEMBERS do not support new teaching/testing methods. Does that mean you agree they’re “wearing tin foil hats” and are delusional?

    Disheartening.

  3. Lesa Wilbert says:

    I’d rather pull out my eyelashes than sign this! Oh, that’s right: that’s what the kids do while taking those horrible HSTs! Shame on you for backing corporate takeover of public schools. You are dead wrong, and you are not supporting parents, teachers and most importantly students!

  4. Jeanne Damone says:

    As a parent of school aged children and a public school teacher I am APPALLED that the National PTA would support this and encourage parents to do so. Unless you are living on some other planet, your organization should be keenly aware of the devastation and toll that high stakes testing has wreaked on our children, their teachers, and schools. Shame on you! Oh right…just remembered…you were given a nice chunk of change from the Gates foundation this year…Parents are waking up…Sorry to see you’re not. Because of your practices, I am requesting that my $5 PTA membership fee NOT go to you in any way and will stay at the local level. NOT ONE DIME to you in the future! Again, SHAME ON YOU for taking blood money and using it to sell out our children.

    • admin says:

      Hi Jeanne,

      National PTA has not received funding from any group to advocate for a particular issue. The position statement was generated from volunteer leadership—the Legislation Committee—and adopted by the duly elected National PTA Board of Directors.

      National PTA applied for and has received grants from several associations, including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and GE, to help fund its efforts to educate and support parents and educators across the country as the Common Core State Standards are implemented in classrooms. With the grants, National PTA and its volunteers nationwide have educated more than 4 million people and conducted trainings for more than 100,000 people on the standards. National PTA only takes funds that help achieve our goals. We do not create new goals to get money.

      Hope this helps.

      Best,
      Catherine
      Digital Communications Specialist

      • Carissa Dollar says:

        The Board of Directors should have taken this issue to membership at the National Convention. Your members are speaking out loud and clear that they do not support this.

  5. Cindy Hamilton says:

    No, No, No. Do not sign this until you spend some time understanding the topic.
    http://emilytalmage.com/2016/03/25/opt-out-dad-sent-to-facebook-jail/

    KNOW who is behind it. ALL the Foundations of Evil https://www.americanprogress.org/about/c3-our-supporters/

  6. Mark Wilsey says:

    Absolutely not! I thought an organization like the National PTA would have our kids in mind. Instead, that fat check from the Gates Foundation is steering this ship! Disgusting!

  7. Laura McCrary says:

    Students have the right to a Free Appropriate Public Education!!! Testing isn’t included in the definition of Education. Seriously, look it up. Pam Stewart is in violation of ADA, (https://unitedforflchildren.com/2016/03/25/pam-stewart-is-that-your-final-answer/) and quite frankly, now you might be also. Perhaps we should include PTA in our complaint form for violating ADA as well. This is in clear violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act(ADA). The parents( and others, as well) can file a complaint with the United State Department of Justice and Human Rights. Heads up. you are also in violation of IDEA which entitles students with disabilities the right to a Free Appropriate Public Education, and these tests are NOT appropriate, especially at the cost of tax payer dollars.

  8. Cindy Hamilton says:

    National PTA sold out long ago to the Foundations for Evil. For the love all that is still good in our public schools, DO NOT sign in support of the Testing Bill of Rights. LOOK at who is behind this: https://www.americanprogress.org/about/c3-our-supporters/

    and read this: http://emilytalmage.com/2016/03/25/opt-out-dad-sent-to-facebook-jail/
    This is all wrapped up in a pretty package and designed to fool us all. Just NO.

  9. Helene Hatzimanoli says:

    I want my child to HIGH QUALITY TEACHING, the BEST teachers to teach her, HIGH QUALITY EDUCATION.
    She is getting none of the above.
    Instead she has frustrated teachers, more and more school anxiety, less and less teaching time, less and less science, music, art, literature because she has more and more testing.
    Only preparing for testing, and being trained how to take tests, and testing and re-testing and more testing.
    We don’t need any Testing Bills or generally any Bills at all.
    National PTA should put children first instead of corporate reform alliances first.
    Instead of #testbetter I would say #TEACHBETTER, #EDUCATEBETTER, #SUPPORTPUBLICEDUCATION. National PTA should choose sides: to keep the PT (Parents Teachers) or stay with the A (corporate reform Alliances) Association.

  10. Ted Schoff says:

    I will not endorse such a misguided attempt to put these ridiculous tests ahead of a quality enducation. You should be ashamed.

  11. Jinia Parker says:

    One voice? Or rather the same voice, again. TestBetter.org’s data is from Center for American Progress (CAP), which it links to. CAP is also responsible for the Funny or Die video that ridiculed parents concerned about common core and high stakes testing (info on production from CAP’s own press release). CAP supporters include Pearson Education, Bill & Nancy Gates and many others who’ve created (and are profiting) this entire travesty. Just a few clicks leads to this information. I have no doubt the National PTA is fully aware of who’ve they sold their soul too, and that of the children in our schools. PTA is no longer worthy of respect or dues. The National PTA could redeem itself & I hope it does. It would be a shame if this is how the PTA is remembered. As of now… Not only will we continue Opt Out of any tests with high stakes attached, we will also be opting out of the PTA.

    • admin says:

      Hi Jinia,

      We recognize the frustrations you and others may feel about over-testing and what’s happening in schools, and absolutely believe that parents need more and better ways to be heard in decisions. We do not think that opting out is an effective strategy to address those frustrations and believe that it comes at a real cost to the goals of educational equity and individual student achievement while leaving the question of assessment quality unanswered.

      Parents have a right to be concerned with overtesting, but the solution is to make tests better, fairer and fewer, while still ensuring that all students and families get an accurate and honest assessment of their progress towards career and college readiness.

      To get more info, or find resources on how states and districts improve testing please visit Testbetter.org

      Best,
      Catherine
      Digital Communications Specialist

  12. Sonny says:

    I am so disappointed in the National PTA . It is sad to see the day when when a parent teacher organization aligns itself with the Gates Foundation. In short your organization accepted money from Gates and is now selling our children out. I opt out until tests are fair, meaningful, and provide real data. Currently test passages are above reading level, consist of poorly worded and constructed questions, with scores that are given months later when students are in a different grade and meaningful data cannot be extracted because tests are not available to learn from. I do no trust the Gates Foundation. I believe they are for profit with an agenda to make money off of our children. I did not trust their Inbloom cloud or their current attempts to create another cloud to data mine. The sad part is that I no longer trust the PTA! We all know who CAP and their motivations and we now know who you are and how quick you were to sell out. I will opt back in when tests are fair and meaningful. I will opt back in when I can go over a test and see where my child needs improvement or is excelling. I will opt back in when companies don’t troll Craig’s list for scorers who get paid to grade by booklet and do not spend seconds grading a test that can have real ramifications for students, teachers, and schools. I will opt back in when serious and well thought out changes are made. I will opt back in when politicians leave public education alone and stop accepting money from reformers out to make a quick buck. Shame on you PTA!

    • admin says:

      Hi Sonny,

      National PTA has not received funding from any group to advocate for a particular issue. The position statement was generated from volunteer leadership—the Legislation Committee—and adopted by the duly elected National PTA Board of Directors.

      Best,
      Catherine
      Digital Communications Specialist

  13. Neal Madnick says:

    When will the National PTA do the right thing and openly support the Opt- Out Movement?

  14. Sandra Moncada says:

    NPTA,
    My children will not be corporate guinea pigs. Stop
    Taking money from corporations and selling your souls to the devil. Let me tell you that if it was not for a few parents in my school district our EPTA would not have cosponsored Mrs. Lisa Rudley’s forum. Our EPTA has not provided any of us the members information about the stand that EPTA takes on common core, etc. that’s a shame. About 2-3 years ago it was our own president who
    had anti-common core signs on her own lawn and now our EPTA is trying to stay neutral. It sounds to me like out EPTA is sending us mixed messages. This is what common core is causing confusion and propaganda about our schools failing ao corporate American can get in. If the NPTA can’t see that then it is not doing the job it suppose to. Being an OPT-OUT parent DOESN’T mean We are ANTI-ASSESSMENTS. Thank you

  15. Earl Suggins says:

    I am opting out of testing and the PTA. The national PTA has been bought out by big business.

  16. Jenny says:

    Where are all the comments?

  17. Michele Favaro-Campbell says:

    I am a proud local elementary school PTA President. As I begin to move on from elementary PTA and decide “what is next” I would very much like to be included in these discussions. I have yet to have anyone from a National Level come to local units and ask “What are your thoughts as parents and local PTA leaders” on testing. It is time to understand the BIG issues that we are facing with education. It is time for the National PTA to stand up for ALL children and WITH parents. My children take tests each week with their teacher(s). These state assessments are poorly written, purposely confusion, randomly graded with 1-4 scores that have no real value, are not giving teachers ANY useful information, give parents even LESS than useful information and are truly just given to our children in order for a few people to make a lot of money. Stand WITH parents against these tests and Stand WITH parents for our children. When the National PTA wants to have a true dialogue please let us all know. Many of us want to get our organization back on track and focused on what is most important, children, NOT corporate greed.

  18. Mary Ann Banks says:

    I’m a special education advocate. I’m disappointed on your stance. From reading the comments, there’s not any support for your stance.

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