- A Mom in Shelby County, TN
The writing assessment lasted 3 ½ hours and we finished 5 minutes before lunch. Some kids didn't even get to eat. We had 60 minutes to read each prompt and write an essay on it, and there were two prompts. The first prompt was about 7 pages long and there was way too much information and too many names to remember. I didn't get to finish typing because we were supposed to write about two of the central ideas and explain how the author goes into detail about them. But the entire first prompt was repeating the same thing over and over again. So it was pointless reading most of it. All of our computers froze up at one point so that wasted about 5 minutes. The second prompt had absolutely no information and was very hard to write about and I only finished about three paragraphs on it. After the three and a half hours everybody was brain dead and during lunch most juniors laid their heads down. And because we still had two more class periods that were an hour and a half each, everybody was exhausted and we still had to work. In math something that I could have usually done in thirty minutes took me the entire class and I still have to do it for homework.
- a junior at a Chattanooga High School
I live in TN and tried to opt my son out of the writing assessment test being given to 5th, 8th and 11th graders. He is in the 11th grade. He called this morning and said that they would make him leave school if he didn't take it. I talked to him and had prayed about it. I told him to take it and to answer honestly and if anything violated his beliefs or convictions then he didn't have to answer or if given the choice to give his opinion. He called back after the test and told me it was horrible. They were supposed to write essays based on some statements and questions. He said one statement said "Explain the futility of happiness." He said that he wrote happiness is not futile. I have happiness. He said I know what you are trying to accomplish. Are you going to retaliate at me and others because we know what you are doing? He said another statement said something to the effect that a person can really only achieve 40% of happiness. He wrote the Declaration of Independence says everyone has the right to the pursuit of happiness, not just 40%. He said again I am completely happy. He tried to write down some of the questions but the teacher there said that he'd loose his job if that happened. I told my son to write as many notes as he could remember. He already has information relating to Hitler and how he changed text books and went after the kids through school. He is so upset now. He is putting together a speech for our next school board meeting in March but I want him sharing it everywhere. I told him to send it to state and government Representative, to our Governor and anyone else we can think of.
- a Mom in Sevier County, TN
Every day, more and more parents in TN are realizing that our children are being abused with testing. Please stop this incessant focus on testing! This is unacceptable.
Note: Tennessee parents are not opposed to all tests. We are opposed to the standardized high-stakes testing that are excessive, expensive, and used to hurt our children's teachers.
Click HERE to read a testing Resolution adopted by Shelby County Council PTA and schools in their district.