President Barack Obama said in a speech last week that students should take fewer standardized tests and that school performance should be measured in other ways. Too much testing makes education boring for students, he said.
“Too often, what we have been doing is using these tests to punish students,” the president told students and parents at a town hall hosted by the Univision Spanish-language television network.
Mr. Obama, who is pushing a rewrite of the nation’s main education law, said policymakers should find a test that “everybody agrees makes sense” and administer it in less pressure-packed atmospheres, potentially every few years instead of annually. He endorsed the occasional administering of standardized tests to determine a “baseline” of student ability. He also said that schools should be judged on criteria other than test performance, including attendance rates.
U.S. Department of Education spokesman Justin Hamilton later told Education Week that annual testing is still very much a part of the departments agenda.
A version of this article appeared in the April 06, 2011 edition of Education Week as Obama: Too Much Testing Fosters Dull Schools