Sample Letter to local PTA/PTO, civic and other organizations On the National Resolution

Dear Members/Board Members of the [name] PTA/PTO,

I'm writing to ask you to help curb the pervasive high-stakes testing that is damaging our children's education. Please join me in endorsing the National Resolution on High-Stakes Testing. I attach a copy.

The National Resolution sends a strong message from parents, teachers and communities: We have too much high-stakes standardized testing. It has narrowed curriculum, turned schooling into test prep, and eaten up far too much time. Most important, it has not improved student learning. The Resolution calls on federal, state and local officials and policymakers to stop the expansion of high-stakes testing around the country.

Sponsors of the Resolution include Parents Across America, FairTest, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, and the “Race to Nowhere” team. Already 10,000 people from across the country have signed on. More than 550 school boards in Texas representing two-thirds of the state’s students have endorsed a version of the Resolution. So have many Florida school boards, the Florida PTA, and hundreds of other parent, community, business, religious and civic groups. The Resolution sign-on is at http://timeoutfromtesting.org/nationalresolution/.

PTAs/PTOs can be an especially strong voice in this effort, because of our numbers and our commitment to children. No one knows better how the obsession with high-stakes testing hurts our children and our schools. Our elected officials need to know that PTA/PTO members are prepared to take a strong stand in favor of more effective measures of student and teacher accomplishments.

[For PTAs] The National PTA has a standing position opposed to high-stakes testing. By endorsing the resolution, our local PTA will re-affirm the National PTA's position and let officials know where PTA members stand.

Unless we speak out now, federal and state policies will massively increase the numbers of standardized exams. In some states, this will mean testing every student in every subject every year. Local districts will often have to bear most of the costs.

I urge our PTA/PTO board to examine the Resolution and bring it before the membership to endorse as soon as possible. When you do, please inform local, state and federal officials of your decision.

Sincerely,