DENVER — Dozens of moms and their kids took their frustration to the State Capitol Thursday. They are taking a stand against too many standardized tests and the millions it costs to implement them.
Lawmakers will debate 11 testing-related bills this year. These moms came out in support of two of them.
Both do several things. But the end result is taking power away from state and federal governments and giving it to local school districts.
“Colorado legislators need to listen, they need to listen now,” mom Anita Stapleton said.
They know their passion at the State Capitol could mean changes in their kids’ classrooms.
“What’s happening to this country? I came to a free country,” said mom and former Chinese citizen, Lily Tang Wiliiams at a press conference inside the Capitol’s West Foyer.
“If our public servants will not stand, then we the parents and taxpayers will,” said mom Bethany Drosendahl.
These moms said educational testing is testing their patience.
“We don’t trust them. We don’t see the data. We don’t see what they’ve collected. And we don’t get reports back until the following year when it’s not helping the child or a teacher,” mom Cheri Kiesecker said.
Senate Bill 257 reduces testing, puts on hold a law that ties teacher evaluations to student test scores, and allows school districts to pilot alternative test systems.
“It’s time to set our own standards that parents, educators, and experts can get behind and is supported by research,” said mom Gillian Moster.
Senate Bill 233, among other things, reduces testing to a federal minimum of 21 tests.
Right now, students take nearly 30.
“We spend hundreds of millions of dollars to compare children and institute competition …We want our millions of dollars to go to our children, to their classrooms. We want lower class sizes, broader curriculum, and intervention and prevention services,” said mom Lynn Roberts.
But now, they want lawmakers to listen to them.
They meet face to face, knowing this is the biggest test they’ve faced yet in support of their children.
“We are all just moms, we are all shaking in our boots, but these are our children,” says Moster.
It’s a test, they say, they can’t afford to fail.
Lawmakers were expected to debate the bills for hours.
When these bills were heard in the House, lawmakers listened and debated the issue for about six hours.