As the Washington Post‘s editorial board said, “The [Council of the Great City Schools] report concludes that students take tests that are redundant and misaligned with college- and career-readiness standards. The tests do not gauge mastery of specific content and are not used for the purposes for which they were designed. Moreover, the delay in receiving some results undermines efforts to support student growth.”
Many a teacher could have told you that same thing years ago had someone only asked. Don’t forget that Education Secretary Arne Duncan and Obama years ago took testing to a whole new level by mandating that teacher evaluations be based on students’ standardized test performance to even be considered for a piece of the original $4.35 billion Race to the Top state competition.
For the record, in New York state alone, students, on average, sent nearly 19 hours over 6 days on the Common Core online standardized assessments–including time for classroom set-up, student preparation, etc. That translates to about 2% taken from instruction time–two times what the state recommends, according to a SUNY New Paltz study.
So now, finds the National Center for Fair and Open Testing, in the waning months of 2015, and in the face of parent push back to the tune of some 500,000 students in 7 states opting out of math and reading tests this past spring, Obama now says he’s seen the light.
He’s now finally concluded that kids are taking too many standardized tests, and poor quality ones at that. As the editors of the Los Angeles Times put it, “He promised to help states figure out how to reduce testing and to push Congress for legislation barring teachers from spending more than 4% of their class time on tests. Does this mean the president finally realizes that tests have been given too much power over public education? Don’t bet on it!”
Add to that, this from AFT president Randi Weingarten, “The fixation on high-stakes testing hasn’t moved the needle on student achievement. Testing should help inform instruction, not drive instruction.”
That’s pretty obvious–except apparently to the powers that be…
Whoever made the tests seems to have wasted teachers’ and students’ time especially if they didn’t gauge student mastery of subjects involved. Why did they make better tests?
Whoops! I meant to ask, “Why didn’t they create better tests.