Published in the Daily Hampshire Gazette: Amherst-Pelham Regional School Committee blasts standardized tests in letter to Legislature

By DAVE EISENSTADTER, Tuesday, June 9, 2015

AMHERST — The Amherst-Pelham Regional School Committee on Tuesday took a stand against standardized tests.

It also praised plans for schedule changes at both the high school and middle school, which were presented during Tuesday’s meeting.

The board voted unanimously to send a letter favoring a moratorium on high-stakes testing in general and the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) test in particular to the Massachusetts Joint Committee on Education. On Thursday, the committee is scheduled to hold a hearing on House Bill 340, which would remove the requirement that a student must pass a standardized test to graduate and would place a three-year ban on using the PARCC test.

“Multiple studies have demonstrated that high-stakes testing does not improve schools and their ability to educate all our students,” reads the letter, which was written by School Committee member Katherine Appy of Amherst. “The tests measure a narrow set of practiced skills that lack depth and a demonstration of ongoing curricular learning.”

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