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Does Student Testing Deserve Good Marks?

by Denisa R. Superville

Education Week

Article excerpt

Students Take Too Many Redundant Tests, Study Finds

Students across the nation are taking tests that are redundant, misaligned with college- and career-ready standards, and often don’t address students’ mastery of specific content, according to a long-awaited report that provides the first in-depth look at testing in the nation’s largest urban school districts.

Our take

Is It Time to Audit Your School District’s Tests?

There’s much activity and angst in classrooms around the country around test-taking, with teachers, students and parents alike lamenting the wide range and frequency of tests that often seem duplicative. They seem that way because they are according to a recent report from the Washington-based Council of the Great City Schools in a report covering 66 of its 68 school districts. Is this the situation in your district?

Current testing practices are not generating desired results according to this report. And, while many tests are mandated, there may still be opportunities to explore new options to minimize redundancy and improve efficacy. It’s certainly worth a look, and some discussions between administrators, instructors, parents and other stakeholders. In fact, the Obama administration announced in October that it was looking into addressing the amount of time required for standardized testing in public schools.