AASA Issues Statement On The U.S. Department Of Education’s ‘Testing Action Plan’


James Minichello
703-774-6953 (cell)

Alexandria, Va. – Oct. 27, 2015 – Daniel A. Domenech, executive director of AASA, The School Superintendents Association, issued the following statement today following the Oct. 24 release of the “Testing Action Plan” issued by the U.S. Department of Education. The plan is composed of suggestions for how states and districts can cut down on high-stakes testing in favor of high-quality teaching and learning.

“It has long been the view of AASA that standardized tests currently in place do not measure independent thinking or creativity. They measure cognitive skills at the lowest levels — recall and knowledge. Teaching-to-the-test is leading to a loss of emphasis on subject areas that are not tested. Testing is a key component of the educational process, but we must separate testing for the sake of informing instruction from testing purely for accountability purposes. This announcement is acknowledgement of the role that overly frequent assessments can play in contributing to the high-stakes testing climate under the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB).

“In taking this action, the administration reflects a message that has been consistently relayed by administrators, educators and parents alike: continued reliance on a high-stakes testing scheme is bad policy. As Congress continues its efforts to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), assessment frequency has been a hot topic.

“For AASA, the issue of assessment does not stand in isolation. A single assessment can be inexplicably arduous if the corresponding accountability is overly prescriptive and burdensome. Responsible federal policy in this space will look not only at the number of mandated assessments, but also at the manner in which the related results are available, analyzed and used.

Continue reading the press release here.

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