Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Dancing to stop standardized tests

The N.C. Senate might be all gung-ho about merit pay for teachers - it's part of the budget plan Republican leaders rolled out today. But a group of local citizens are dancing today against it at the Government Center Plaza - well, at least the standardized tests that are part of a Charlotte-Mecklenburg plan.

Mecklenburg ACTS is coordinating the protest today from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. before the CMS board meets tonight to discuss the budget and a motion to stop N.C. House Bill 546. The bill gives CMS the authority to create a teacher pay scale based in part on the performance of students on standardized tests. The bill would allow the system to bypass getting educators' approval of the change. CMS developed 52 additional tests for students this year to use for the evaluation. More are expected next year with a standardized test for every subject.

The idea has upset parents and others. Since there is no public comment period before tonight's school board meeting, Mecklenburg ACTS is asking people to protest by dancing to the Test Teacher Anthem found at http://www.mecklenburgacts.org/