Goals 2000, NCLB, and Race to the Top have been the last three major educational reforms mandated by the U.S. government. All three have failed to achieve their goals. All three have had serious side effects; however, testing companies such as Pearson and McGraw Hill have flourished. The general public has long considered standardized tests as excellent assessments of student achievement. And now these same tests are used as tools to rate teachers and schools. Upon closer examination, these tests really only prove one thing: how well a student can take a test. But with the punitive nature of NCLB and Race to the Top, schools feel compelled to teach to these tests or risk losing state funding. Therefore, teachers spend more time on test-taking skills than on those skills that students really require. Accreditation services, such as the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, have been pushed aside by certification methods…which rely on test scores. Many experts believe that underneath the testing movement lies a desire to end public education. Standardized approaches all of these subjects by bringing together testimonials from renowned educational experts, discussing the current United Opt Out movement, and providing alternatives to the unreliable certification process.
The Sakin Foundation brings attention to the importance of public school education in Southern Arizona. They sponsor the annual Stand Up for Education Celebrity Spelling Bee at the Temple of Music and Art which benefits classroom grants given by the Educational Enrichment Foundation.