A new report offers an unprecedented look at the testing load in large urban districts across the nation, finding considerable redundancy and a lack of coordination among the exams.
Students typically spend about 20 to 25 hours per year on roughly eight mandatory assessments, according to the analysis and testing “inventory” by the Council of the Great City Schools. The report included exams that fulfill federal requirements, as well as other mandated by states or local districts.
In reaction to the new analysis, the Obama administration on Saturday offered a high-profile pitch to reduce testing, including by urging states to require a 2 percent cap on classroom time devoted to taking such exams. It also outlines other steps, including a call to ensure the tests are high quality, fair to kids with learning challenges, including special education students and English language learners, and—perhaps most importantly—are just one measure of a student’s knowledge and progress.
In a video posted on Facebook, President Obama said that, ‘‘Learning is about so much more than just filling in the right bubble. So we’re going to work with states, school districts, teachers, and parents to make sure that we’re not obsessing about testing.’’