School district should take stand against tyranny of test scores

Our excellent Forest Grove School District is under attack. The State and the Feds have perverted diagnostic testing results into a figure of merit for district performance.

No Child Left Behind mandates that 100 percent of the students achieve test standards - a statistical and practical impossibility. The state threatens to take remedial action unless we meet test score standards.

Tests are made on different sets of students each year (by grade), and yet are used to measure 'improvement' - of what, the gene pool? Now, the state won't even fund the testing it requires.

The problem here is not the testing requirements or those who issue them, it is the reaction of our district.

It is long past time for us and our district to rise up and challenge these threats to local public education. Funding issues will pale next to the direct attacks on our programs.

Good people are leaving and life skills programs of all sorts are being threatened in the name of test scores. Band, arts, sports, ag - what's next?

All that will remain is math labs, English as a Second Language and remedial everything (teaching to the tests).

Worst of all, the district is running off some of our most effective staff members and alienating the very core that we on previous boards worked so hard to engage - our most active and caring community supporters.

Time to 'Cowboy Up' and take back our local district for our students, our parents and our community.

Dick LaJeunesse

Forest Grove

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