To the Editor:
The assessment-reform movement is alive, strong—and winning at the state and local level. When it comes to public education, it has always been state capitals and local governments where key decisions are made, not Washington.
With the Every Student Succeeds Act as the law of the land (“Anti-Test Movement Slows to a Crawl,” July 23, 2018), the fight to make real progress in reducing standardized exam misuse and overuse will take place in state legislatures, boards of education, and school committees. And we are making that progress; not slowing to a crawl. The number of states that require an exit exam to graduate high school has dropped from more than two dozen to 12—with Indiana eliminating its test just this summer.
We are seeing interest in reducing state testing from the recently elected governor of New Jersey and from gubernatorial candidates in Georgia. New York, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts are piloting alternative assessments that may prove to be national models. The NAACP, among other organizations, is speaking out more strongly about the need to replace flawed tests.
Make no mistake, when a future president and Congress reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act in several years, testing reformers will be there. And we’ll be joined by allies from school districts, states, and community groups where better assessment policies have already been adopted and implemented.
A version of this article appeared in the August 22, 2018 edition of Education Week as Students Are Still Taking Too Many Tests