The term “high stakes testing” refers to standardized tests that are taken by students and used to evaluate a teacher and/or principal’s performance or that of a school.

Many times these tests have been used more as a weapon rather than a tool, causing the wholesale firing of teachers and the closing of schools, many times converting those closed schools into charter schools.

This type of testing also creates additional stress for students who many times feel that how they perform on a test may affect the future of a well loved teacher or school.

Another outcome of high stakes testing is the unfortunate focus on a small amount of information that is anticipated being on the test rather than studying a subject with a broad overview and providing the opportunity to understand the subject within a context and relate it to other subjects.

Many school districts, and even states have unfortunately been a part of the high stakes testing phenomenon and school communities have suffered greatly from it. Due to the damage that has been done, many principals, teachers, school districts and superintendents have pushed back on high stakes testing and said that “enough is enough”. See High Stakes Testing and Opting Out: The Push Back.

On January 27 at 1:00 PM PST, 3:00 PM Central and 4:00 PM EST, Parents Across America will be hosting an online seminar on high stakes testing and opting out of such tests.

Our guests will be:

Jesse Hagopian, teacher at Garfield High School and part of the MAP test boycott

Shaun Johnson, a former public school teacher, current teacher educator and online radio show co-host of At the Chalk Face who is a founder of United Opt Out National.

Monty Neill, Executive Director of the National Center for Fair & Open Testing (FairTest). Dr. Neill  authored Implementing Performance Assessments: A Guide to Classroom School and System Reform, and Testing Our Children: A Report Card on State Assessment Systems, the first comprehensive evaluation of all 50 state testing programs.

Tim Slekar, a former public school teacher and now an associate professor of teacher education. Dr. Slekar is also co-host of At the Chalk Face and a founder of United Opt Out National.

There will be a discussion on:

  • How high stakes testing got started.
  • Methods to fairly evaluate a teacher in the classroom.
  • Opting your student out of high stakes testing, why and how.

Each guest speaker will have an opportunity to talk about these subjects and then it will be opened up for questions and discussion.

To sign up for this free event, go to Eventbrite. You will be notified of instructions on how to sign onto the webinar a few days before the event.

We can accept a maximum of 100 guests.

If you have any questions, please leave your question in the comment section of this post.

Dora Taylor

For more information on high stakes testing, see: