Calling for end of overtesting in schools

The Obama Administration’s weekend statement calling for “fewer and smarter” tests “belatedly admits that high-stakes exams are out of control in U.S. public schools but does not offer meaningful action to address that very real problem,” according to the National Center for Fair & Open Testing (FairTest), a leader of the country’s rapidly growing assessment reform movement.

FairTest Public Education Director Bob Schaeffer explained, “The new Council of Great City Schools study to which the Obama Administration responded, reinforces widespread reports by parents, students, teachers, and education administrators of standardized testing overuse and misuse. Documenting testing overkill is, however, just the first step toward assessment reform.”

“Now, is the time for concrete steps to reverse counter-productive testing policies, not just more hollow rhetoric and creation of yet another study commission,” Schaeffer continued. “Congress and President Obama must quickly approve a new law overhauling ‘No Child Left Behind’ that eliminates federal test-and-punish mandates. State and local policy makers need to heed their constituents’ ‘Enough is enough!’ message by significantly reducing the volume of standardized exams and eliminating high-stakes consequences. That will help clear the path for the implementation of better forms of assessment.”

Founded in 1985, FairTest advocates for valid, equitable and meaningful assessment of students, teachers and schools. The organization predicted negative “fallout from the testing explosion” when No Child Left Behind and similar state policies were adopted. FairTest works closely with grassroots education stakeholders around the country to reform national, state and local testing policies.

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