To Bill and Melinda Gates:
Please wake up and truly consider what thousands of professional educators are saying about high-stakes testing: It needs to stop!
I am a school counselor just down the road from you. I work in one of the most exciting elementary schools in our district, with 85% poverty and 70% English Language Learners. I have worked at my school for 12 years and I can honestly say that with every passing year the joy and love of learning has steadily been squeezed out of our students and faculty. The cause, you ask? The rating, classification, “goal” – setting, humiliation, and yes, soul-sucking and ever- increasing time and energy and money devoted to high-stakes testing of our students. You have indicated that you value information and data and that they should “drive” what people (teachers) should do in their profession. If you truly believe that, PLEASE take the time to study all the data you have about the correlation between the increasing use of high stakes testing and the apparent “failure” of so many schools. I believe you may have unwittingly deluded yourselves into thinking that all the testing will improve our nation’s schools. Please remove your blinders. Your efforts are destroying young minds and a national treasure, our public schools!