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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Stop teaching to the test, Florida groups urge with petition



University of South Florida professor Sherman Dorn, an expert on (and critic of) education accountability policies, has started a petition urging the Obama administration to pay more than lip service to its proclamations that schools should not teach to given tests.

Dorn deems this a matter of civil rights in a recent blog post: 

"When schools with low academic achievement receive test-prep booklets, the cost of those purchases is stolen from instructional materials for the general curriculum. When children with low academic performance find their classroom time occupied by activities that mirror multiple-choice test formats, that is a denial of access to a broad curriculum. When teachers, aides, school counselors, and others spend hours in early spring drilling students on test-taking techniques, that is time that children are not reading, are not learning about math and science and history, and are not experiencing or creating art or music."

He's hoping for 25,000 signatures by Feb. 14 to prompt the administration to respond. So far, though, just 46 people have signed the little-known online document.

The Florida Education Association took note of that low turnout on its website on Wednesday, and started promoting the cause. "Time is running out!" the teachers union states, providing the link to the petition.

Will you sign the petition? Do you think schools teach to the test?

[Last modified: Wednesday, February 6, 2013 10:56am]


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