March 3, 2014 12:18 pm

NPE Calls for Congressional Hearings – Summary

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Network for Public Education Calls for Congressional Hearings on High-Stakes Standardized Testing

NPE requests Congress hold formal hearings to investigate the over-emphasis, misapplication, costs, and poor implementation of high-stakes standardized testing in the nation’s K-12 public schools.

The emphasis on testing – starting with No Child Left Behind legislation in 2001 and increasing under policies of the Obama administration – now seem to have become the purpose of education, rather than a measure of education.

Although it makes sense to use tests to determine whether all students are achieving at a minimum level of proficiency in English and math, high-stakes testing in public schools has gone way too far and led to multiple unintended consequences that warrant federal scrutiny.

We’re calling for Congressional leaders to pursue these eleven inquiries:

1. Do the tests promote skills our children and our economy need?
2. What is the purpose of these tests?
3. How good are the tests?
4. Are tests being given to children who are too young?
5. Are tests culturally biased?
6. Are tests harmful to students with disabilities?
7. How has the frequency and quantity of testing increased?
8. Does testing harm teaching?
9. How much money does it cost?
10. Are there conflicts of interest in testing policies?
11. Was it legal for the U.S. Department of Education to fund two testing consortia for the Common Core State Standards?

The Network for Public Education is an advocacy group whose goal is to fight to protect, preserve and strengthen our public school system, an essential institution in a democratic society. We are many. There is strength in our numbers. Together we will save our schools.