More on Mass.
- Subject: More on Mass.
- From: Sue Allison <sueallison@COMCAST.NET>
- Date: Fri, 8 Nov 2002 09:59:17 -0500
- Reply-to: Assessment Reform Network Mailing List <ARN-L@LISTS.CUA.EDU>
- Sender: Assessment Reform Network Mailing List <ARN-L@LISTS.CUA.EDU>
Here's an example of how I have been able to leverage the Mass. campaign to further my cause in MD. MD parents have no idea that our tests should be something to worry about. Well now I can give them a glimpse of MD's future. This is a letter I wrote for a County Commissioner candidate. She won her seat by a huge margin! I'd like to think I won her a few votes with this letter...
Letter urging voters to choose Susan Shaw for commissioner. Printed in the Calvert Recorder (10/16); the Washington Post Southern MD Extra (10/17).
Roughly 12,000 students of the Massachusetts graduating class of 2003 have yet to pass that state's despised MCAS exams, which are make-or-break graduation requirements for the first time with this class. These students have only one more chance to pass these tests in time to walk the graduation stage this spring. I know of one desperate honor roll student who has failed to get over the MCAS hurdle three times -- missing by only a few measly points with each valiant attempt. This girl and her family are at their wit's end. So much for fond memories of senior year!
Rising dropout rates are linked to MCAS. Teachers are forced to focus on mind-numbing MCAS test prep. Parent groups are rallying in protest, and courageous local school board members are defying state education officials by vowing to award diplomas regardless of MCAS results.
Calvert County parents, will we just sit passively by as the Maryland government follows a handful of other unfortunate states down a disastrous track toward a graduation train wreck? The Maryland High School Assessments (HSAs) are slated to become make-or-break high-stakes graduation requirements beginning with the class of 2007. Are we willing to gamble our children's futures on a series of three-hour state exams, which will be prepared and scored by private out-of-state testing contractors? How will we explain to our kids why people they have never met, folks who couldn't point to Calvert County on a map, should be in a position to deny them their diplomas after 12 years of solid work in our classrooms?
I am thrilled to report that on Nov. 5, we have a chance to elect a county commissioner who will join with parents in fierce opposition to this dangerous high-stakes testing experiment. Susan Shaw is not only the best friend Calvert County education could ask for, she is the best friend Calvert County families could ever have. I can't begin to do justice to her community service record, which includes leadership positions with the NAACP, the Calvert Crusade for Children, the Red Cross, the Mental Health Association, the Southern Maryland Boys and Girls Clubs, and scads of other volunteer activities geared toward the support of family life in Calvert County. Get to know this outstanding candidate at www.ImChoosingSusan.com.
Susan not only cares about education finances -- she cares about education policies. When Maryland State Department of Education officials presented the findings of the Maryland Visionary Panel to a small audience at Northern High School this past winter, Susan was there. The gist of her testimony regarding the HSAs was simple and on target -- we ought to trust our great teachers to do their jobs. I couldn't agree more.
Don't underestimate the influence a commissioner can have on this issue, especially if that commissioner is Susan Shaw. Where Susan leads, others tend to follow. Parents, let's make sure she gets the chance to stand up for our kids. Tell every Calvert County voter you know -- tell them soon and tell them often -- tell them with enthusiasm and conviction: Choose Susan!
To unsubscribe from the ARN-L list, send command SIGNOFF ARN-L
Post a Message to arn-l: