Tags: No Child Left Behind | testing | overused | students

Overuse of Student Testing in NCLB Explored

By    |   Tuesday, 30 Dec 2014 07:14 PM

Federally mandated student testing may soon come under Republican congressional scrutiny, with Tennessee Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander leading a charge that could cut back, or even shuck altogether, the number of required exams.

According to Politico, Alexander is making reauthorization of the No Child Left Behind law a priority, which makes annual testing mandatory.

But Politico notes he'll have the support in his fight from a grass-roots crusade led by parents and teachers who reject the predominance testing has assumed in the classroom.

"We are actively exploring the question of whether the federal mandate on annual tests is warranted," an unnamed GOP aide told Politico, adding the goal is to give states more say in tracking, reporting and holding schools accountable for student progress.

Politico notes a bipartisan bill would give states grants to audit their testing regimes —  and nix those that are deemed unnecessary —  an issue to which Education Secretary Arne Duncan lent support.

"Annual statewide assessments are critical to ensuring that all students are held to the same high standards and parents, teachers and communities have the information they need about how their children are doing every year," Duncan said when the bill was introduced, according to Politico, adding: "However, in many places, the amount of testing that is redundant or simply not helpful for instruction has become a real problem."

While Duncan supports that bill, he and President Barack Obama are both against ending the annual testing requirements in the No Child Left Behind law, Politico notes.

But the American Federation of Teachers and the National Education Association are staunchly against what they see as too much testing, and state and school district leaders are already cutting back on some tests, Politico reports.

For example, Rhode Island has a statewide initiative with local superintendents to conduct audits of existing exams. And Florida Education Commissioner Pam Stewart is working with districts to analyze required tests and see how they're used..

Parents aren’t waiting for lawmakers, however, fueling an opt-out movement, Politico notes.

"One district told me it’s the same thing as not taking your kids to the doctor," Jeanette Deutermann, a parent advocate for Long Island Opt Out, told Politico. "We don’t want to hear that we don’t know what we’re doing for our kids. It’s patronizing."

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Federally mandated student testing may soon come under Republican congressional scrutiny, with Tennessee Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander leading a charge that could cut back, or even shuck altogether, the number of required exams.According to Politico, Alexander is making...
No Child Left Behind, testing, overused, students
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2014-14-30
Tuesday, 30 Dec 2014 07:14 PM
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