In this Center for American Progress report, the authors interviewed dozens of education stakeholders, including parents, teachers, and policy experts, to identify the ways that standardized testing under the Every Student Succeeds Act (EESA) can be used to enhance learning and teaching. The report begins by highlighting the issues and concerns that currently exist over standardized testing practices. Included among these concerns is inadequate communication with teachers and parents, the lack of alignment between state summative assessments and district curricula, too much time spent on test preparation, and the poor logistics around testing windows and results reporting.
The authors provide a series of recommendations that schools, districts, states, and the U.S. Department of Education can follow to help attenuate stakeholder concerns and improve the testing process. Some of these recommendations include:
- Reducing duplicative tests by using assessments that are aligned with districts’ curricula. Aligning district curricula to high quality state standards can eliminate redundant testing, decrease student testing time and reduce unnecessary test prep.
- Increasing the value of the tests to students, teachers, and parents by using formative and interim assessments. Interim and formative assessments provide actionable data throughout the school year that can be used to help assure students are on track to succeed.
- Improving communication around testing by developing clear score reports and building local capacity to support teachers’ understanding of the assessments. Parents and teachers need to know how to interpret results and how to use the information to improve student learning.
- Tackling the logistics of administering the tests. District leaders can develop plans for testing in advance to limit disruptions to students’ schedules and ensure needed technology is functioning properly.
Read it here.