by The Philadelphia Student Union April 15, 2015
When members of the Philadelphia Student Union asked their peers at Science Leadership Academy what kinds of changes they wanted to make to public education, one issue came immediately to mind for many students: High Stakes Standardized Testing. After many months of discussion, research and planning, PSU members at SLA have launched their “More Than A Test” website– which catalogues dozens of students testimonies on why they feel their learning is not represented by standardized tests. It features students holding a sign, on which they write why they are “#MoreThanATest”.
“We wanted to show the public all the ways that students’ lives, passions, and experiences cannot be evaluated by high stakes standardized testing,” says Nomi Martin-Brouillette, a leader in PSU and also the lead developer of the website.
With the PSSAs starting this week, close to 200 parents have already opted their students out of these standardized tests in Lower Merion, sighting a loss of instruction time and students’ stress.
“We know that decisions about whether schools get more of less funding depend on these tests, but we believe that all schools should receive full and fair funding”, says Martin-Brouillette, “decision-makers at 440 and in Harrisburg cannot expect students to perform well on tests when our schools resources are cut year after year.”
Among students’ demands is for Pennsylvania to remove the Keystone tests as a graduate requirement.
Students across Philadelphia can submit their own photos to the website by going to MoreThanATest.wordpress.com. On the website you’ll also find more information about how to opt out, the campaign and how to support it.