Ah, tests, the bane of many and now a deeply entrenched part of schooling in these data collecting days, complete with test prep sessions. About the state-required assessments, while telling kids to relax and just do their best, embedded is also the message that scores determine a school and district’s state-wide standing. As for the SATs, you wanna get into a good college, right?

Oh, yes, so relax…

One result of our testing mania is the opt-out movement with New York state as its epicenter where, last year, a full 20% of its students refused to take its state-mandated assessments. And now this just in: The New York City Department of Education recently announced new testing requirements, adding “four off-the-shelf tests to replace school-selected assessments.”

Apparently, adding on has quite a bit of public support. In fact, a recent Ed Pulse survey found that 52% of respondents agree/strongly agree that “students need exams that measure reading, writing, and numeracy skills for workforce readiness” vs. just 38% who disagree/strongly disagree.

As for the SAT college entrance exam:

  • More than 2.2 million students took the 2019 SAT.
  • 46% of those taking it during the school day attended high-poverty schools.
  • 22% took it on a weekend at a testing center.

This even though now 1.050 accredited bachelor-degree institutions no longer require the scores as part of their application process.

And finally now the National Assessment of Educational Progress, aka “The Nation’s Report Card,” is getting a trim. Given to 4th, 8th, and 12th graders across the country, its “streamlined” 10-year plan includes fewer subjects, with fewer students tested, BUT longer testing times.

On the chopping block: art, geography, and economics assessments. Also cancelled is a planned expansion of foreign language tests, together with those in 12th grade technology and engineering.

Wise moves all around? You decide.

With my many thanks, Carol