Black Oak Mine Teachers Association Statement on Assessment and Testing

For those of you who are collecting resolutions and statements regarding high-stakes testing--The following policy was adopted unanimously by the members of the Black Oak Mine Teachers Association on May 9, 2001. BOMTA represents 107 teachers in the Black Oak Mine Unified School District in El Dorado County, California.

Statement on Assessment and Testing

The Black Oak Mine Teachers Association believes in assessment systems that support learning. The primary purpose of assessment should be to assist teachers in improving instruction and advancing student learning. Good assessment is accomplished through a wide variety of methods including portfolios, observation of student work, conferences with students, and teacher-made or teacher-selected tests. Multiple measures should be used to assess all students.

We do not believe that any child can be reduced to a test score. Important decisions about students should not be made automatically on the basis of a single test score.

No single number can give an accurate picture of the quality of the educational program at any school. The Black Oak Mine Teachers Association believes that instead of rewarding individual students, teachers, schools or districts based on the results of a test, state monies should be used towards resources which will help all students meet statewide standards.

We oppose the financial reward system to individual staff members whose schools meet API target goals. We support increased discretionary funding for all schools to allow local districts to develop programs that best fit each school's needs.

Teachers working together must play a major role in the development, analysis and evaluation of curriculum content standards, student performance standards, and student assessment programs. Assessment exercises and tasks should be made public after they are used each year.

Testing and test preparation should not detract from the time allotted for instruction. Tests should not be allowed to distort or diminish the curriculum offered to students. The length, format, and instructions for all tests must be developmentally appropriate.


Black Oak Mine Teachers Association