“Even the ones who want the data and the information, they lament the fact that the whole school experience is increasingly becoming defined by testing and test prep. And I’ve walked into lower-income schools around the country where test scores are posted right in the front entryway and the message is very clear: That we care about you as a person and everything, but what really matters is the score that you post in April,” – Anya Kamenetz, author of The Test1
In 2001, the Bush administration passed the No Child Left Behind act in an effort to increase accountability among public schools. The act mandated annual math and reading tests for all public school students with the intention of enforcing repercussions for low scores.2 Many believe that this form of high stakes testing encourages bad educational practices. It removes creativity and flexibility from the curriculum by forcing educators to “teach to the test” and diverts time and money away from valuable classroom programs. High stakes testing can also bolster opportunity gaps and perpetuate White supremacy given that the majority of school closures and teacher firings occur in districts with high concentrations of minority students.3 Not all opponents of high stakes testing oppose accountability through evaluation, but they feel that these evaluations need to become more holistic and less punitive. That is why parents, teachers, students, and concerned community members across the nation are banding together and fighting for an end to high stakes tests.
- Kamenetz, A. (2015, January 22). The Past, Present And Future Of High-Stakes Testing. Retrieved May 13, 2017, from http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2015/01/22/377438689/the-past-present-and-futu
- Kamenetz, A. (2015, January 22). The Past, Present And Future Of High-Stakes Testing. Retrieved May 13, 2017, from http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2015/01/22/377438689/the-past-present-and-future-of-high-stakes-testingre-of-high-stakes-testing
- High Stakes Testing. (2017). Retrieved May 13, 2017, from http://www.saveourschoolsnj.org/high-stakes-testing/