Public education is the cornerstone of this country. This nation's well-being relies on a high-quality public education system that prepares all students for college, careers, citizenship and lifelong learning, and strengthens the nation's social and economic well-being. The move to privatize our educational system removes funding from our public schools and sends it to private schools. High stakes testing only serves to enrich the testing companies and puts undue stress on students and teachers. Both of these have caused a narrowing of the curriculum, teaching to the test, reducing love of learning, pushing students out of school, driving excellent teachers out of the profession, and undermining school climate. The St. Bernard Retired Teachers Association calls on the governor, state legislature and state education boards and administrators to reexamine public school accountability systems in this state and the removal of funding through vouchers that undermine our public schools. We ask that with teacher input to develop a system based on multiple forms of assessment which does not require extensive standardized testing, more accurately reflects the broad range of student learning, and which is used to support students and improve public schools. We also ask that the slow removal of public dollars to private business through a voucher system be stopped immediately before it does more damage to our public schools.
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