The Need for Better, Fairer, Fewer Tests

Across the nation, there’s growing concern around tests and the role that they play in our nation’s education system. For decades, many states and districts have taken a slap-dash approach to testing, and they have relied heavily on so-called bubble tests, which are often poor benchmarks of student learning. What’s more, tests have taken an outsized role in many areas. There’s far too much teaching to the test, and in some states and districts, students are simply overtested.

But there’s hope, and new exams aligned with the Common Core offered for the first time this year provide a promising alternative to the ill-aligned and poorly designed tests from the past 20 years. By making tests more effective and focused on problem solving skills, the amount of standardized assessments can be reduced and the test prep culture that has overtaken schools across the country will become a thing of the past.

Please join the Center for American Progress as we discuss new research on the state of testing, including issues of overtesting, the quality of current state exams, and the roll-out of new next-generation Common Core tests. Discussion will focus on the need for better, fairer, fewer tests.

Introductory remarks:
Neera Tanden, President, Center for American Progress

Presentation of findings:
Ulrich Boser, Senior Fellow, Center for American Progress

Nancy DePalma, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment, West Hartford Public Schools
Maura Henry, Teacher, The Young Women’s Leadership School of Astoria
Jeffrey Nellhaus, Chief of Assessment, Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, Inc.

Ulrich Boser, Senior Fellow, Center for American Progress


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