Last year the Fairfield Public Schools administered the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium field tests. These were intended to measure the Common Core curriculum that had been adopted by the Connecticut Department of Education and in turn Fairfield Public Schools.

This year, students will be taking these tests "for real."

I am choosing to opt my child out of the SBAC testing. There are many reasons you might choose to do this: teacher evaluations, creating a generation of failures and more. I do not have room to address all the issues so I've chosen a simple one: We don't need another test.

In the past, our children were given the Connecticut Mastery Test. I was told that they were just one snapshot of my child's knowledge and the state made us do them because they couldn't dictate the curriculum. If we are adopting the Common Core as the state wants us to, then why do we need to take standardized tests?

Our children are tested almost every day in school. They are graded on classwork, homework assignments and class participation. They are given quizzes and tests on previously graded classwork and homework assignments. Their skills and knowledge are assessed regularly with the Developmental Reading Assessment, the Fountas and Pinnell Reading Assessment, the Star Reading Assessment, iReady Math Assessment, Writing Prompts, etc. Next, they are given district assessments to determine whether the students have met the Common Core State Standards based on the curriculum set forth by the Fairfield School District. Do we need to add another assessment?

Do we need to have our children lose instructional time taking practice tests to prepare them to take the "real" tests that will result in the loss of even more instructional time? This is a big issue in Fairfield. We are changing the high school schedule to add instructional time; we have eliminated many activities at the elementary level because we need more instructional time.

For all these reasons, my son will not be taking the SBACs. We do not need another test!

Lisa Davy

Fairfield

Lawyer's about-face

clouds school project

Fairfield Citizen reporter Genevieve Reilly hit the nail on the head with her Feb. 13 article: "More money OK'd for Osborn Hill project, but enclosed walkway unresolved."

The question is why does the enclosed walkway for Osborn Hill School students remain unresolved? Republican RTM members unanimously endorsed additional funding for completion of the project, including the walkway, at the most recent RTM meeting.

In fact, when RTM Republicans made a motion to restore in $120,000 for the walkway to strengthen school security and protect students from the elements, Democratic Minority Leader Hal Schwartz asked for clarification on whether the RTM was empowered to take such action.

Several days earlier at a Board of Finance meeting, bond counsel Frank Cleary stated that the RTM has the authority to increase bond resolutions relating to major school building projects. Before the RTM, however, Attorney Cleary was visibly uncomfortable at the podium and said he could not say definitively whether this action was permissible.

This is all quite puzzling to us. RTM Republicans on Feb. 23 were fully prepared to exercise their authority and add the monies back into the project to fund the walkway. Some might wonder whether these were dilatory actions designed to position the first selectman to take credit for reinstating the funds for the walkway, which he had removed earlier. Maybe they were, maybe they weren't.

The resulting confusion on the floor due to a lack of consistent legal direction from bond counsel has now delayed positive action for the Osborn Hill community for at least 30 days. School safety and security is best served by timely action, not politics.

In the end, we have much faith and respect for the public and suspect those who watched the RTM meeting in person or live on FairTV picked up on this confusion. Unfortunately, the meeting will not be re-airing on FairTV anytime soon because it appears that the video file was corrupted.

Ed Bateson,

RTM Majority Leader

Michael D. Herley,

RTM Deputy Majority Leader