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Re: Wellstone's visit & high stakes testing

Wellstone's bill is not likely to pass, I agree, but it is a vehicle for
pushing the issue.

Bush's probably plan will include mandating that state's test in grades
3-8 in language arts and math (does not seem now to likely mandate high
stakes at least for kids, may for schools; probably will also push
vouchers) is something that we will need to be mobilizing for -- more on
that soon.

But as we work to oppose the Bush testing plan, we can use that also to
propose Wellstone and Scott's plan (and perhaps other positive things as

Monty Neill

Mike Kluznik wrote:
> Sen. Paul Wellstone did a superb job when he met with several hundred
> seniors at Hastings Senior High this morning in Minnesota. By the way, this
> is his second visit to our school. I don't recall Sen. Rod Grams, who was
> recently defeated, as ever having come to visit us.
> Wellstone spoke for over an hour before dashing off to the local veterans'
> home. Mainly, he and the students discussed education.
> When he asked for a show of hands of all those who supported the state's
> "high standards" (i.e. the Profile of Learning. When he asked who supported
> Minnesota's Basic Standards tests only a few students raised their hands.
> Wellstone then asked how such measures have been passed into law when no one
> in the schools supports them. Why, he asked, are policy-makers and those
> who attend school or teach there so far apart on this topic? No one was
> able to answer the question.
> He was fairly busy and rushed, so I walked him to his car and we talked. He
> said that in order for his bill on high-stakes testing to pass, there would
> have to be a groundswell of support for it at the grass-roots level. Even
> if it fails, it will have raised the awareness of many, and so it will at
> least have accomplished something.
> He was quite passionate in his opposition to high-stakes testing, but he was
> very respectful of any dissenters. His advice was to continue to speak out
> against the practice and to ask that multiple measures be used. He also
> said now is the time to speak out, as confirmation hearings for Sec. of
> Education begin soon, possibly as early as Wednesday of this week.
> It may be quite a difficult task selling the public on the problems
> associated with high-stakes testing. If I recall correctly, the majority of
> Americans support the practice.
> MK
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