Following Obama’s Call, States Start Redoing Their Tests

March 25, 2009 1 min read

President Obama is promising to improve the quality of assessments used under NCLB. Even though he has yet to introduce a detailed plan to reauthorize the law, states are at work on doing just that.

Once again, Kentucky is out in front. Washington state and Texas aren’t far behind. See my story now online.

One quote that got left in my notebook: “This is very much driven out of Washington now,” said Stanley Rabinowitz, the testing director at WestEd, referring to Obama’s campaign promises and his rhetoric since taking office.

Here are two examples:

From the White House Web site’s detailing of the administration’s agenda: “Obama and Biden believe teachers should not be forced to spend the academic year preparing students to fill in bubbles on standardized tests. They will improve the assessments used to track student progress to measure readiness for college and the workplace and improve student learning in a timely, individualized manner.”

From the president’s March 10 speech on education: “I’m calling on our nation’s governors and state education chiefs to develop standards and assessments that don’t simply measure whether students can fill in a bubble on a test, but whether they possess 21st century skills like problem-solving and critical thinking and entrepreneurship and creativity.”

The stimulus dollars may help start the process. But it’s unlikely that all states will be rewriting their tests until NCLB reauthorization is finished.

A version of this news article first appeared in the NCLB: Act II blog.