End the Test-Driven Culture of D.C. Public Schools
  • Petitioned Kathleen Tighe

This petition was delivered to:

U.S. Department of Education Inspector General
Kathleen Tighe
U.S. Government Accountability Office
Interim Chancellor, D.C. Public Schools
Kaya Henderson

End the Test-Driven Culture of D.C. Public Schools

    1. Sponsored by

      Teachers & Parents for Real Education Reform

We care deeply about the education of our children.  

We want to see improvements in public education, and are concerned about where test-driven reforms have taken us. We want better, deeper reforms that will improve supports for high quality teaching and learning. 

The recent revelations about testing fraud in Washington, D.C. Public Schools, disclosed in USA Today on March 28 were upsetting, but not surprising.  As educators and parents, we know that an obsessive emphasis on testing has taken over many school systems across the country -- including ours.  The multiple high stakes now attached to these tests invite misuse and set the stage for scandal.  Students just below proficiency are pulled from content classes for weeks of test-prep.  Students in testing grades lose weeks of instructional time.  

Teacher and principal bonuses and threats of firing raise the stakes, creating the wrong motivations for educators. 

We are calling for the U.S. Department of Education’s Inspector General, and/or the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) to conduct a thorough investigation of testing irregularities in the District of Columbia over the past two years.  This investigation should include sworn, public testimony from principals, administrators and the former and current District and state leadership, as well as forensic analysis of student scores compared to other measures of what students know.  It must address all specific allegations of erasure and falsification of answer sheets, as well as any district actions that might have encouraged cheating, or that were taken to cover it up.

We further demand that the District of Columbia Public Schools impose a moratorium on practices that focus on the test and test prep rather than on teaching and learning. These include the following immediate steps:

• a moratorium on all high stakes attached to standardized student test scores; 

• a moratorium on test-prep and student pull-out from their regular classes;

• suspension of all plans to expand standardized testing to additional grade levels and subjects;

• an end to cash bonuses and awards based on test scores; 

• mid-course corrections to the District’s new, punitive teacher evaluation system (IMPACT); 

• a new focus on support and accountability for great teaching and deep learning.

It is time that the misguided test-driven reform adopted by DCPS be examined and corrected.

Take action today to demand a thorough investigation of the extent of cheating in DCPS over the past three years, the causes and the consequences, and needed corrections in school system culture.


Recent signatures


    1. Reached 4 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • Elisabeth Garber LOS GATOS, CA
      • over 3 years ago

      As a student now in college who went through the system that become more and more test driven. It's a huge mistake. I was very smart going through school and in many ways I was left behind because

      the teachers didn't have time to challenge me. This became more evident as tests became more of

      a focus. I was in the CA school system and I think the stupidest thing they did was have teachers

      make sure thee students know which "standard" is being taught. What a waste of time. Also, for

      those of you who are older and been out of school, what do you remember about school, the

      facts and drilling, or the fun activities and projects? This is what is being taken out of schools

      and why kids hate school so much. Budget cuts are taking everything fun out of school.

    • Brenda Stewart INDIANAPOLIS, IN
      • over 3 years ago

      As a parent,it does not surprise me that school officials would stoop this low to commit crimes in our public schools. They should be prosecuted to the fullest extend of the law.

      Everyday, poor children, minority children, and children with disabilities are being abused and maltreated by these same individuals. These people are unhuman and should never be placed or allowed in classrooms with our children. Please investigate the fraud that happens everyday in special education.

    • Erich Martel WASHINGTON, DC
      • over 3 years ago

      Don't forget the DCPS/OSSE practice of posting DCCAS test blueprints listing the standards that will be tested and, by process of elimination, teachers know which ones won't be tested - and don't have to be taught. That's another form of cheating.

    • Dave Russell MURRIETA, CA
      • over 3 years ago

      In the interest of transparency and the open pursuit of justice, I encourage Michell Rhee to sign this petition in support of her instance that there were no improprieties under her watch.

    • Brian Diamond ALEXANDRIA, VA
      • over 3 years ago

      Let the truth come out, please!


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