(BLOOMINGTON) - A group of parents and community members are calling on legislators to make the Indiana Department of Education drop IREAD-3 testing for third-graders.
April Toler, of the Herald-Times, reports that last month, Indiana third-graders were required to take the Indiana Reading Evaluation and Determination, or IREAD-3, which is a state assessment that determines whether third-graders are reading at grade level.
Students who do not pass the test can be retained. That idea does not sit well with local parent Jenny Robinson, who helped draft an online petition being circulated.
"I'm just concerned that a major decision like this, that has such an effect on a child's future, that anyone could think that it's appropriate for a test to make this decision and not (teachers and parents)," Robinson said.
In the petition, Robinson and those who drafted it argue that IREAD-3 is a misuse of public funds because it provides education dollars toward "redundant assessment" instead of instruction and favors retention over remediation, according to the petition.
"No major decision about a child's future should be made on the basis of a single test score," the petition reads. "Retaining students has been shown to increase the risk that they drop out of school and to have a null or negative effect on their academic achievement in the long run."
The petition also argues that IREAD-3, like other state assessments, will punish low-income children and families and that it reduces funds that could go toward remediation.
"Our tax dollars should go to local schools for literacy programs and teachers rather than to assessment overhead and testing companies," the petition reads.
So far, more than 300 people have signed it.
Many of the comments posted speak against more state assessments and using one test to determine if a child should move on to the next grade level.
"One single test is not, cannot be, ever, possibly, any indication of a child's potential," Diane McWethy wrote. "To use one test as a pass/fail for admission into 4th grade is wrong. Enough testing already! Let the teachers teach!!!"
To view the petition, visit http://chn.ge/HzSVgn.
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