‘Reclaim Our Schools' Rallies Focus on Testing

San Diego teachers rallied for more time for learning and less time for testing.

As part of a nationwide “Reclaim Our Schools” event Wednesday, some San Diego teachers rallied for more time for learning and less time for testing.

Groups of teachers and parents stood outside schools as students arrived at Oak Park Elementary. Other rallies were held at Clairemont High School and EB Scripps Elementary.

“Over 90 percent of our members were concerned that the over testing of our students is actually harming them,” said Lindsay Burningham President, San Diego Education Association.

Burningham said teachers do assessments every day in the classroom.

“We don’t need to be stopping for multiple weeks at a time during our school year to be focused on high-stakes testing that measure how a student is doing one day out of an entire school year,” she said.

Oak Park Elementary parent Margaret Reese took part in the rally with her children Marcanthonee and Jonnah.

She said students are missing a lot in the classroom if they’re out testing.

“Some kids don’t test well. They might even know the answers but they might freeze and get nervous and then, what does that test really prove,” Reese asked.

San Diego Unified School District, the second-largest school district in the state of California, issued a statement regarding Wednesday’s “walk-in” rallies.

“At San Diego Unified, we believe our students are more than a test score and have worked hard to eliminate all unnecessary testing in our school system,” SDUSD Communications Director Linda Zintz said. “We have cut the number of interim assessments from 3 to 2. These tests now start at second grade instead of first. This is real progress aimed at protecting children while insuring they receive a quality education.”

Any parent can decide to opt out of testing for their child, Burningham added.

Other cities focused on issues surrounding funding and safety. For more information on the nationwide day of action, visit the national website.

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