Opinion
Assessment Letter to the Editor

Test Scores Are Not a Priority for School-Choice Parents

June 20, 2017 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

To the Editor:

Test scores are at the center of fierce battles between pro- and anti-school-choice forces. However, Walt Gardner made a great point in his blog post, as made clear in the post’s headline, “Choice Is Not Based on Performance Alone” (May 29, 2017).

Indeed, long before any inkling that a presidential administration—much less one led by Donald Trump—would be promoting the idea of a national school choice program, the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice (now EdChoice) published a study in 2013 indicating that test scores actually are one of the least-important considerations for parents in choosing a school.

Among the factors weighing more heavily in parent decisionmaking are student-teacher ratio, classroom discipline, safety, moral values, and individual attention paid to students. For some parents, the availability of top-notch athletics or clubs may even be paramount. Who is to say that their priorities are out of whack? If parents are pleased with a school, chances are the level of parental involvement will be high, and that will help boost a culture of achievement.

Robert Holland

Senior Fellow for Education Policy

The Heartland Institute

Arlington Heights, Ill.

Related Tags:

A version of this article appeared in the June 21, 2017 edition of Education Week as Test Scores Are Not a Priority for School-Choice Parents

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Budget & Finance Webinar
The ABCs of ESSER: How to Make the Most of Relief Funds Before They Expire
Join a diverse group of K-12 experts to learn how to leverage federal funds before they expire and improve student learning environments.
Content provided by Johnson Controls
Science K-12 Essentials Forum How To Teach STEM Problem Solving Skills to All K-12 Students
Join experts for a look at how experts are integrating the teaching of problem solving and entrepreneurial thinking into STEM instruction.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
School & District Management Webinar
Modernizing Principal Support: The Road to More Connected and Effective Leaders
When principals are better equipped to lead, support, and maintain high levels of teaching and learning, outcomes for students are improved.
Content provided by BetterLesson

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Assessment The 'Nation's Report Card' Is Getting an Overhaul: 5 Things to Know
The leaders of NAEP have big plans for making the test more nimble, flexible, and useful.
9 min read
Image of a bank of computers in a library.
baona/E+
Assessment Opinion What the Digital SAT Will Mean for Students and Educators
The college-admissions test will be fully digital by 2024. Priscilla Rodriguez from the College Board discusses the change.
6 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty
Assessment Opinion Searching for Common Ground: What Makes a Good Test?
Rick Hess and USC Dean Pedro Noguera discuss standardized testing—what it’s for, where it’s gone wrong, and how to improve it.
5 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty
Assessment Spotlight Spotlight on Assessment in 2022
This Spotlight will help you understand how to use assessment data to guide student learning and examine the debate over standardized tests.