Reject Draft Policy 5060 regarding Student Participation in Assessment Programs
This petition had 739 supporters
Please stand with the parents of students, citizens, and/or taxpayers in the Ann Arbor Public School District, who object to the proposed policy 5060 entitled “Student Participation in Assessment Programs” last modified on 22 May 2015. The proposed policy states:
"The Board of Education believes that assessing student progress provides important data by which the district can measure the effectiveness of curriculum and instruction and the impact of our educational programs on student achievement. Participation in assessment programs by all students ensures accurate information is provided to parents, educators and other stakeholders and is necessary to improve educational outcomes for our students.
The Superintendent or designee shall administer student assessments in content areas and grade levels as required by state and federal laws. Therefore, full participation in state assessments is mandatory for all students who are enrolled in the Ann Arbor Public Schools. Failure to participate in all state assessments may result in exclusion and/or removal from any application-based school or program. Special exceptions may be granted by the superintendent or designee upon a showing of extraordinary circumstances.
The Superintendent or designee shall provide regular updates of student progress to students, parents, educators and other stakeholders."
We object for the following reasons:
The policy is targeted retaliation against parents at Ann Arbor Open, the STEAM school, and Community High School, who have been actively encouraging parents to “opt out” their children from the M-STEP because of principled objections to the content, length, and form of the test.
The policy is discriminatory, in that it applies a sanction of forced removal from a chosen school only to those students who attend the magnet school, while it doesn’t apply any sanction to a student in a neighborhood school who also chooses to opt out of the M-STEP.
The policy is an insult to parents and staff at neighborhood schools, in that it implies that removal from a magnet school to one’s neighborhood school is a punishment.
The policy was introduced at the end of a long Board of Education meeting with no advance public notice for such a controversial subject, and when almost no one was there to observe the first reading.
The M-STEP is a non-externally-validated test that takes up 9-12 hours of possible instructional time and ties up computer facilities that could otherwise be used for real teaching. It does nothing to close the achievement gap it purports to measure.
We urge the Board to reject the proposed policy and to use the leading position of Ann Arbor Public Schools in the state to oppose the imposition of disruptive, invalid tests onto the educational process.
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Ann Arbor Community for Trust and Transparency in Schools (AACTTS)
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