Last Wednesday, the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee held a hearing to discuss the No Child Left Behind Act. The 2002, act signed by President George W. Bush, required annual standardized testing that would punish public schools for low scores. Parents and teachers believe that the law relies too heavily on the standardized testing and that it is unfair to penalize the students who need more education funding, mainly poor disadvantaged districts. Jia Lee, a New York special education teacher, said the tests “can only measure right or wrong,” not complex questions. “I will refuse to administer a test that reduces my students to a single metric. Teachers attending the meeting suggested alternative approaches to the annual testing, including grade-span testing, a method where tests are taken only once in elementary, middle, and high school in order to determine school success. Others worry that if we step too far back form relying on standardized testing as the main indicator of educational success, poor and minority students could be left stranded with no set standard being incentivized. The goal is to revise the current policy in order to be most beneficial to all students.
Contributor: Johanna Hartman