Civil Rights Leaders Plead with Congress to Maintain Annual Standardized TestingFebruary 10, 2015
New Jersey PARCC UpdateFebruary 11, 2015
Speaking of annual standardized testing, Derrell Bradford, Executive Director NYCAN, describes the bad old days when “states had testing regimens that amounted to spot checking student progress in gateway grades such as 4th and 8th grade. And since there was no requirement to report the results by subgroup (African American students as an example) many cities and states homogenized away the failure of these smaller populations of students in their results for white and affluent students.”
With annual testing we now know, every year, how are kids are doing. We know when they succeed and, more importantly, we know when they struggle. And the knowing has facilitated a tectonic shift in how we organize our efforts around making sure every child, including those who struggle, gets a fair shot at an excellent education.
Some in D.C., and elsewhere, don’t like the results we’ve been getting. So instead of attacking the problem, they instead want to shoot the messenger and eliminate the testing provision. Dropping this provision would be like getting a physical three times in your whole life—as a kid, an adult, and as a senior—instead of once each year. Sure going to the doctor can be nerve wracking, but wouldn’t you rather know about your health—or what you could do to be healthier—while you have a chance to do something about it instead of just hoping that you’re ok?
The testing provision is a checkup for our student’s education and mastery just like a physical is a checkup for your health. And we, and our kids, are indeed better off knowing where we are instead of just hoping that we’re ok or, or in this case, hoping we know how to read, write, and do math at grade level.