Over 300 Fayette, Kentucky parents have formed FayetteABC as what they see as a "moral obligation and responsibility" to express their concerns over excessive testing and its impact on education.
Fayette Advocates for Balance in the Classroom™ (FayetteABC™) was founded by Erik and Cheryl Myrup and other Fayette County Public School parents concerned that test-driven instruction could compromise the quality of education in our public schools. No FayetteABC founding members have ever been employees of Fayette County Public Schools.
The group has a website and are circulating a petition circulating asking that their views be seriously considered by the local school board. The petition reads as follows:
We are concerned that our schools have become too focused on standardized testing at the expense of Kentucky's broader educational goals, which include preparing students for future employment and adult life. Please keep this concern in mind as you choose a new superintendent and pursue your own goals as a board.
We urge you to take a balanced approach to meeting educational goals. This approach should be informed by data from mandated standardized tests, but should focus squarely on ensuring that students have access to rigorous, relevant, rich instruction.
What are some signs of a system that is out of balance?
- Students spend too much time taking standardized tests and practicing skills in a testing format.
- Teachers report less time for teaching students to apply concepts, solve problems, and think critically and creatively.
- Teachers and principals are under more pressure to raise scores on standardized tests than they are to use teaching methods likely to promote deep understanding and love of learning; teachers committed to such methods may be frustrated and demoralized.
- Standardized test achievement is considered the goal of learning.
- Subjects not tested for state and federal accountability systems receive inadequate attention.
Superintendents, board members, and school personnel may all be feeling more pressure to demonstrate success on standardized tests than to monitor the unintended consequences of a test-driven system. That is why we are making our concerns known. We acknowledge and thank the many Fayette County teachers, administrators, and board members who work hard every day to ensure that our children do have rigorous, engaging, and varied learning opportunities beyond what is necessary for success on standardized tests. We realize that these efforts are not always recognized publicly, but they are preparing our children to be successful in life.
We believe that all of us truly want what is best for our children, and we expect our elected officials and our next superintendent to have the courage and the vision necessary to take a balanced approach.
Kentucky parents serve as one more example of the increasing number of parents nationwide who are expressing these concerns. While mainstream media under reports or ignores and while policy makers remain tone deaf, parents continue to step forward as a moral obligation and responsibility.
I am a NUT and stand with the parents.
NUT = No Unnecessary Tests