In Michigan, and throughout the country, children are being harmed by the forced standardization of learning and the use of standardized tests. Members of the Rouge Forum and Whole Schooling Consortium believe that we owe our children more and invite you to join our efforts in working to support good teaching, real learning, to push back the MEAP and the forced standardization of learning opportunities for our children. Below, we share information regarding this problem, events we are sponsoring to which you are invited, and an analysis of the problems caused by the MEAP and recommendations for more positive alternatives.
If you are interested in being involved, come to a meeting or contact one of us at the following email addresses. We are building a statewide movement to improve our schools and we invite you to join and lead in this effort.
Detroit Metro area: Michael Peterson and Greg
Flint area: Dawn Vanfleteren
Lansing Metro area: Sherry Dickerson
MEAP Listserv. Get in contact with individuals involved in a growing movement in Michigan to remove high stakes, standardized tests from our schools and focus instead on creating valuable learning experiences for children.
June 8, 2002. ACTION FORUM: Push Back the MEAP, Bring Forward Real Learning Location: Auditorium, Undergraduate Library, WSU. 1:00 - 3:00 PM. At this meet we will develop a strategic action plan for the 2002 - 2003 school year and further develop presentation materials to use with groups about the MEAP and more effective assessment. Click HERE for a map.
Improve Learning through Student Assessment. This paper, submitted to Tom Watkins, superintendent of the Michigan Department of Education, describes how the MEAP is harming effective education in Michigan, suggests that its use be discontinued, and provides a description of more effective alternatives.
AN ACTION PLAN To Push Back the MEAP, Bring Forward Real Learning. This short document outlines plans for the coming year. Come to the meeting on Saturday, October 27th, at Wayne State University, Faculty Lounge, College of Education if you want to join with others who are concerned about the MEAP.
MEAP INFORMATION CENTER. Click HERE for many links, resources, reports, and commentary on the MEAP.4
MAKE SURE YOUR UNDERSTANDING IS THE SAME AS OURS: A Report on the MEAP at the Michigan Council for Social Studies Conference, 2002. Greg Queen and Katy Landless.
YES YOU CAN !! Exempt your child from the MEAP. If teachers or administrators are telling you that your child is required to take the MEAP, read here for information on how to respond.
WHAT WE CAN DO About the MEAP and Standardized Testing. We are particularly interested in supporting groups of concerned parents, citizens, and students form around Michigan. Contact us to help set up such an action group.
CARTOONS. Here are a few cartoons we've collected regarding high stakes standardized testing that make powerful points in humorous ways.
Rouge Forum. The co-sponsor of our work in this arena, the Rouge Forum represents people working to build democracy in schools and our society.
Students Against Testing. This website has been organized by Bill Wetzel, a young man who is leading an organizing effort of high school students nationally who are concerned about how standardized tests are hurting their education. You might particularly enjoy the section on "What to do while taking your standardized test".
Alfie Kohn's website against standardized testing. Alfie is well known for his books and his speaking for the schools children deserve, a title of his best selling book, and against standardized testing and curriculum that destroys real learning for childrn. This website links to his publications and a list of state coordinators.
Center for Fair and Open Testing A key source of information regarding the harms of standardized testing, more effective alternatives, and the growing national movement against standardized tests.
Michigan Department of Treasury website on the MEAP.
Assessment and standards resources. Excellent links to many resources regarding the standards movement,standardized tests, the national movement against such tests, and effective alternative assessment strategies.
Saturday, December 15, 1:00 - 4:00. Action Planning to Address Educational Problems of the MEAP. 4th Floor, Faculty Lounge, College of Education, Wayne State University. This meeting will bring together teachers, parents, administrators, state legislators, and others who are concerned with the damage that the MEAP is doing to the learning and mental health of children and the quality of schooling in Michigan. We will plan in greater detail the following events for this school year.
Here are links to flyers regarding these upcoming events as pdf documents. Feel free to print and distribute in your schools and community.
Flyer that introduces both events: Push Back the MEAP, Push Forward Real Learning.
January 30 11:00 - 1:00 PM, MacKinnac Room, State Capital, Lansing, Michigan. TAKING THE MEAP. We will collaboratively work with state legislators who are concerned with the MEAP to request all Senators and state Representatives to take a portion of the MEAP (past versions). We will dialogue with legislators regarding quality schooling and the impact of the MEAP.
2, 2002. PUSH BACK THE MEAP, BRING FORWARD REAL LEARNING.
Location: Community Room, 3rd Floor, Undergraduate Library, WSU. 10:00 AM - 3:00 PM.This one-day conference will provide an opportunity to critique the impact of the MEAP on real learning, to propose alternatives, and to develop actions that can be taken by teachers, schools, and concerned citizens to improve learning for students in Michigan schools.Action / Learning Group -- the coalition of teachers, parents, students, and others who are leading this effort, collaboratively sponsored by the Rouge Forum and Whole Schooling Consortium.
May 5th 2001, Rally: Support good teaching. Get rid of the MEAP!! On this day some 70 people met to share, march, call for good teaching and to stop the MEAP, and to develop action plans.
ROUGE FORUM NEWSLETTER. This 'mini-journal' focuses on practice and policy issues in building good schools. The Winter, 2001 issue focused specifically on the harms to children's learning of standardized tests.
MEAP Debate in Flint. Michael Peterson and Greg Queen represented the Whole Schooling Consortium and Rouge Forum at this debate. Click here for a copy of Michael's comments.
Michigan Council of Social Studies Report. Greg Queen tells us about the work of the Rouge Forum related to the MEAP and the actions and responses at the recent conference of the Michigan Council of Social Studies.
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Whole Schooling ConsortiumRouge Forum