Education: Obama Wants to Limit Standardized Testing

President Obama is calling for states to cap how much classroom time is devoted to standardized tests, marking a drastic change in his education policy that for seven years that insisted standardized testing was the best way to measure student learning. In a Facebook video posted by the White House last Saturday, the President said he often hears “from parents who rightly worry about too much testing, and from teachers who feel so much pressure to teach.” As a response, President Obama and the Department of Education have drafted a Testing Action Plan, which proposes that states restrict standardized tests to 2% of classroom time, and includes an acknowledgement on behalf of the Education Department that it has “not provided clear enough assistance for how to thoughtfully approach testing and assessment.” The plan asks Congress to enact the 2% cap into law, though ultimately the federal government has limited power to implement this cap. In a report released on the same day as the President’s announcement, the Council of Great City Schools found that the average American student will take 112 standardized tests between preschool and high school graduation, which averages to 25 hours per year.

Contributor: Celeste Montaño

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