403 Forbidden


nginx
403 Forbidden

403 Forbidden


nginx
Follow us:
403 Forbidden

403 Forbidden


nginx

Education Lab Blog

Education Lab is a project to spark meaningful conversations about education solutions in the Pacific Northwest.

October 16, 2014 at 5:00 AM

School chiefs concede: Too much testing crowds out learning

As in politics, education-speak generates incessant reading of the tea leaves. So Wednesday’s statement from state education chiefs calling for more “rationality, coherence and purpose” in student testing sounded, possibly, like an admission that those things are lacking.

In New York, for example, State Education Commissioner John B. King, Jr. said testing “sometimes even crowds out time for student learning.”

That’s about as blunt as state school officials get. Even U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan took up their call: “In some places, tests  and preparation for them  are dominating the calendar and culture of schools,” he said.

Whoa. Are the backers of Common Core State Standards (and the tests that come with them) waving a white flag? Extending an olive branch to teachers and parents who have pushed back with increasing vigor against standardized testing?

Not hardly.

The national group was merely saying that Common Core-aligned tests  Washington plans to use ones called Smarter Balanced  are better than the old fill-in-the-bubble exams, which should now, perhaps, be eliminated.

“We are not backing down from assessments  that’s very clear,” said Melissa McGrath, a spokeswoman for the Council of Chief State School Officers. “Assessments are necessary.”

A relief, no doubt, to policy-watchers at Education Trust, who focus on teacher accountability in closing the achievement gap and rushed to release a statement saying “Equity in education can only be assured through benchmarks that measure achievement for all students.”

In sum, the new boss (Smarter Balanced and its ilk) may be pretty much like the old  certainly in terms of the ire it generates.

“Homilies” and “hollow pledges,” said Bob Schaeffer, at the National Center for Fair and Open Testing who has proposed a moratorium on such high-stakes assessments. “Today’s statement is little more than a defense of the testing overkill status quo.”

Comments | More in News | Topics: Arne Duncan, common core, standardized testing

COMMENTS

No personal attacks or insults, no hate speech, no profanity. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate this thread by reporting any abuse. See our Commenting FAQ.



The opinions expressed in reader comments are those of the author only, and do not reflect the opinions of The Seattle Times.


403 Forbidden

403 Forbidden


nginx
403 Forbidden

403 Forbidden


nginx