Oklahoma PTA Calls For End To High Stakes Testing

Tuesday, December 2nd 2014, 6:21 pm

The State PTA is asking parents to stand in solidarity with two Oklahoma teachers who are refusing to administer certain standardized tests. This comes as the Oklahoma PTA pledges to fight to end high-stakes testing.

Last month Tulsa teachers Nikki Jones and Karen Hendren announced they would no longer give the standardized test known as the MAP. MAP is a computer-based test designed to monitor students in math and literacy.

“We have to stand up for the kids and speak for them,” said Hendren. “They're young and they can't say anything and they need someone to say we've had enough, we've had enough of it.”

Now the Oklahoma PTA is calling on all its members to follow their example.

“Sixty-thousand members annually in this Association across the state, let's all stand together and unite and say enough is enough,” said Jeffery Corbett, president of the Oklahoma PTA. “You can elevate our children on a day to day basis and you can test our children, that's fine. But we're getting out of hand and we can do a different job and a better job educating our children and not focusing on these tests.”

Corbett said their involvement comes directly from parents frustration related to the overuse and abuse of high-stakes standardized tests.

“I know of children who have wound up on anti-anxiety medication.”

The Oklahoma Education Association agreed. President Linda Hampton called the current testing situation toxic. She said they support Jones and Hendren and would stand behind any other teachers who do the same.

Both the PTA and OEA will now ask local school boards to join the fight as well.

OEA is hosting a summit Wednesday to figure out what changes in the law are needed to address this issue.