District of Columbia State Board of Education Members
United States of America

OSSE (Office of the State Superintendent of Education) proposed substituting assessments for rich educational experiences in all HS courses. We the undersigned don’t want an assessment, a project or a test, to replace quality instruction and broad educational exposure.

We support limiting testing out to Math and World Languages in cases where students can move to a higher level in these sequential content areas. We reject the proposal that offering an assessment instead of a course is an appropriate way to provide a quality high school education.

What can you do about it – make sure your voices are heard;

• Sign this petition.
• Contact your School Board Member http://sboe.dc.gov/page/board-biographies


A recently convened task force made a series of recommendations (https://eboard.eboardsolutions.com/Meetings/Attachment.aspx?S=9000&AID=50811&MID=1689) on how students can earn credit for graduation from high school. Among them was a call for students to be able to take an assessment to place out of World Languages and Math. With Math, a test will enable the student to move on to the next math course and still fulfill their graduation requirement. In World Languages, it will allow a proper placement as well as credit for students who are already bi-lingual.

The Task force rejected taking a test instead of a course in subjects other than Math and World Languages because a strong course exposes students to intellectuals and professionals in the field. Students also benefit from class discussions which strengthen tolerance, critical thinking and the ability to listen.

In DC, students are exposed to experiences like interacting with Supreme Court Justices, conversing with authors and partnering with NIH scientists. This great richness will be lost if the schools move toward greater dependence on on-line learning to pass a test and on assessments as the total definition of education. If students can test out, there may well be pressure to reduce Advanced Placement and dual enrollment courses.

OSSE has said that they will delay the vote on this. We ask our elected representatives to stand firm on this. Do not to abdicate your responsibility. Do not give OSSE a blank check now. Our school board does not have much authority. You do have authority over this, use it well and responsibly.

We petition the Board of Education to champion the value of a full educational experience.

Reducing high school to passing 24 assessments without taking the courses does not support that value.

The School Board should absolutely use their authority to ensure that performing one assessment to test out of a course is limited to World Languages and Math.

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The Don’t Let Assessments be a Substitute for a Strong Education petition to District of Columbia State Board of Education Members was written by Cathy Reilly and is in the category Education at GoPetition.