Students slam the state in exam essay

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – A number of Albuquerque High School students sent a message about the controversial standardized testing by disobeying the exam rules and writing a letter slamming state education leaders.

Portions of the essays, KRQE News 13 heard about or got a glance of, were very well written. They called out state education leaders and stuck up for their teachers.

In one essay a student wrote:

You may think that I am probably just a typical student who just wants to get out of taking a test. Well, you are wrong.
These tests are a huge waste of resources…
Then you say teachers are to be graded on these test scores? That is just unrealistic.

Another student wrote:

Students are forced to take tests mandated by the state, who doesn’t even provide the funding necessary to purchase the tests, and as a result there is less class time to learn content. the system is not working.

Another student wrote:

I would like to take this time to express my discontent with the educational policy decisions enacted by the state and district under the leadership of Governor Martinez and Hanna Skandera.

There were possibly more than a dozen Albuquerque students that did not write the end of course exam essay in two subjects as instructed. Instead, they wrote letters slamming standardized tests, the Public Education Department, Secretary Hanna Skandera and even mentioned Governor Susana Martinez.

KRQE News 13 heard from teachers and parents about the controversial new test. But, this is the first time students will be heard, or will they?

“Well I certainly hope that they will but I absolutely have no confidence that they will. They have not listened to us. They’ve ignored emails from teachers; they’ve ignored superintendents; they’ve shushed school board members,” APS Board member Kathy Korte said.

The PED may not have to shush the students. A PED spokesperson said they don’t receive the tests.

PED spokesperson Larry Behrens sent this statement:

We know thousands of New Mexico students who took their finals seriously.
Final exams are not new, and we don’t believe holding ourselves accountable for student achievement is a waste of resources.

Korte said she believes these students did take their finals seriously and took a stand for something they believe in.

“This country has a long history of people questioning authority for the good of all so if that’s what these students were doing I say kudos to you,” Korte said.

The PED said the tests are graded by the district and there is no word yet on if any of the students would have points deducted because they didn’t follow the test instructions exactly.

KRQE News 13 requested an on camera interview with the Education Secretary but were told she was unavailable.

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