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Take Action: Pause High-Stakes Testing

Policy makers’ devotion to standardized testing and flawed measurements of learning gains under the guise of ‘accountability’ are stumbling blocks for high-quality instruction in a normal year. In the middle of a pandemic, such obsessions are no less than educational malpractice.

Now more than ever, teachers and other school staff professionals need flexibility to use everyday assessment of their students’ work to guide their pacing and instruction without the monumental loss of time for tests and testing administration. Time and resources spent on testing and test preparation are better used to address social-emotional needs and develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

Ultimately, standardized tests do very little, if anything, to actually help improve student performance. Because the test results are not available for months after the test is taken, they cannot be used to guide instruction or provide timely feedback to students.

Instead of high-stakes testing we should depend on useful everyday assessment of student classwork. This allows teachers to better meet the needs of their students by providing immediate feedback and making real-time adjustment to instructional tactics. Even if standardized tests must be administered, the distractions and disruptions that they create in learning must be minimized.

That’s why we are calling upon legislators to pause the negative consequences associated with high-stakes testing for at least two years. Trust educators to meet the needs of our students during these very difficult times and allow our schools to prioritize the mental health and social well-being of our students as we educate during this pandemic. Let’s let teachers teach and students learn.


Email your legislators to tell them to PAUSE HIGH-STAKES TESTING NOW!

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