Petition Drive Challenges Standardized Testing

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Critics of high-stakes standardized tests have started an Internet campaign to petition for an overhaul of mandated testing.

Sixteen organizations worked together to draft a resolution called the National Resolution on High-Stakes Testing. The new group was formed in an environment of increased scrutiny of standardized testing.

So far, 14 New York City-based advocacy organizations have endorsed the new petition. Nationally, more than 100 organizations and 2,100 individuals have signed. The campaign is based on a similar effort in Texas that gained support of more than 400 school districts there.

"What we're seeing is a disconnect between the popular support of people saying, 'Enough is enough,' and policy makers who are doubling down on high-stakes testing." said Bob Schaeffer, public education director for FairTest, an organization that helped write the petition.

Mr. Schaeffer said the creators of the new resolution, who included Diane Ravitch, were surprised by the response. He said the Web site traffic was unexpected, and some users encountered errors.

Organizers plan to take their message to legislators.

"We're building popular pressure to persuade policy makers to abandon a failed task," Mr. Schaeffer said.