Petition Closed
Petitioning Indiana Department of Education

Do not make a child repeat a grade level because they fail this test

Below you find some of my concerns and opinions regarding the Public law 109 IREAD 3 test: If a child does not pass this test they will automatically be held back in the 3rd grade and can be retained for 2 years straight. I am very concerned about the long term affects this test will have on our children in the event that they are held back in the 3rd grade for not passing this ONE test. How can any child be retained over ONE test? If you have a child that makes A's and B's (including reading) but yet they do not pass the IREAD 3, what message is this sending to that child? If this test means that much to the State and the board of education then why are we keeping grades on these children from Kindergarten - 3rd grade? and are we telling the children that all other subjects in school mean nothing? Say for instance you have a child that makes good grades but doesn't take tests well and fails the IREAD 3 and then you have a child that makes all D's but passes this test and moves on to the 4th grade, What's the message there? It seems that all the "genius people", and I use the term loosely, that have set the guidelines on this test have forgotten what it was like to be an 8 and 9 year old child in school. I have to wonder why we as a society are allowing our state the right to place such huge demands on OUR kids. The people that are in the department of education, law makers, congress, etc. DID NOT have any of these high stakes test in their grade school and I would bet they would say they have turned out quite well and I would bet that alot of them who have children of their own that have gone through school also didn't have these types of tests. Let me get one thing straight here I don't have a problem with given these kinds of tests to our children but what I do have a HUGE problem with is the fact that my child or someone else's child will be retained if they do not pass. I have discovered that some of the other states that have used these "high stakes tests" have found that it does not benefit a child to be held back from failing one test but showed that on average, children who were retained were worse off in both personal adjustment and academics than their promoted counterparts and students who repeated a grade were significantly more likely to drop out of high school than students who didn't repeat a grade. These tests are about failure. They are telling children in our state, you don't measure up. You fail to meet basic minimum standards and for those who do fail it is a tragic consequence in their life. Children's test scores on these proficiency tests are a poor indication of solid academic instruction and content knowledge, yet individual children will be penalized or rewarded solely on the basis of these test scores. How is it that I, as a parent, have NO say so in whether my child will or will not be promoted to the next grade level? Not all children will be proficient in reading or math! I feel that these types of tests restrictions will ultimately cut out a lot of excellent future skill trades workers, white collar workers, health care workers and etc. When you really think about it these kinds of tests are like taking all children of a particular grade level and throwing them all out into the middle of a lake and for those who can swim will make it to land but unfortunately the others will just drown and there isn't a darn thing that we as parents can do to protect them. It makes me sad to look around and see how off track our community has gone. What do I tell my 9 year old daughter in the event she has a bad test day and does not pass the IREAD 3? Further more when the state passes a law that takes my child's future out of my hands, what's next?

Letter to
Indiana Department of Education
I just signed the following petition addressed to: Indiana Department of Education.

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Do not make a child repeat a grade level because they fail this test

PARENTS AGAINST THE IREAD 3: We as parents need to demand better for our children and NOT let people like Tony Bennett dictate to us whether my child or yours is held back over ONE (1) test. It is not right that we as parents have no say in this process. I feel that our children are just test scores to the department of education. This is not just a simple you read to me a small 3rd grade level passage and then you'll pass. The test contains 3 sections which includes: main idea, supporting details, info in text to aid in comprehension, recognition of beginning, middle and end sounds, author's theme, characters, predictions, fact and opinion, cause and effect, synonyms, antonyms and common genres. On top of that this is a timed test. Some children just simply do not do well on tests but that doesn't mean that they don't know the curriculam and we have to remember that these are just 8 and 9 year old children. If he thinks that children are just being passed along then he should address the schools and teachers about that problem and fix it at that level. When a parent sends their child to school we expect our children to be taught well, not just so-so. If a child is being passed on to the next grade and shouldn't be then whos fault is that? I say NOT the child. These types of "all or nothing" tests are not going to solve the real issue. To tell you the truth I really wonder if this is not just another step closer for our politicians to completely dismantle the public school system. The only thing I continue to hear from our goverment is "higher education, higher education, we have to beat the world" but you know what if I wanted my children to have the exact same education as other countries I would have moved them there!!!!! Also I have one question for Tony Bennett, did you take one of these high stakes test when you were in grade school??? Don't worry, you don't have to answer this because I already know the answer
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Sincerely,