Did you know that students spend around 25 hours each school year, taking tests, according to a study that was released by the Council of Great City Schools, on Saturday, October 24, 2015? The study included United States 66 largest school districts. They found that students take a total of 112 standardize tests from the time they enter school until they graduate high school.
The Obama administration says students are spending too much time in the classroom taking unnecessary tests, and calling for a cap on the amount of time students are allowed to take standardized tests.
This decision comes after a growing concern of teachers and the parents of students who explain that high-stress testing in the classrooms, no longer allow the students to be creative and themselves, but to focus on studying for the test and nothing else.
This announcement couldn’t come soon enough, it is finally breaking the 10 year cycle of emphasizing standardized test to be the only way to hold the schools accountable for what their children learn. Oddly enough, education reform groups have always backed standardize testing as a way to ensure that the school was giving the best education to their students.
But with the new policy, the administration recognized the focus on standardized testing was taking up too much instructional time and creating stress for students and educators. That is why it’s called on school districts and states to cap the time spent on such assessments to no more than 2 percent of classroom hours.
The Department of Education wrote in a memo, “Students do best on high-quality assessments that actually measure critical thinking and complex skills when they have been exposed to strong instruction, which should be the focus.”
As one already may know this change in policy as made some major political allegation. The administration’s push for testing has shunned the teacher unions, which have a persuasion in the Democratic Party, creating troublesome time for Hilary Clinton, the party’s front-runner.
The administration’s attempt to restructure the testing is also an attempt to roll back a few mandates of the No Child Left Behind Act, which was put in place during the Bush administration. These changes are being discussed in Capitol Hill, where the amendments to the law are being reviewed and considered. However, this will keep the annual math and reading exams, but their status on how well the teachers and school are doing will end.
Even critics of standardized testing have welcomed the administration’s decision, but also believe that this is the first of many steps to overhaul all educational assessments.
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