The highlights indicate the States where parent organizing against teaching to the test are in action. All indications suggest this is a growing grassroots movement. President Obama's recently announced proposals for changing No Child Left Behind (NCLB) are likely to fuel more action. Here are some highlights from the President's education reform plan with regard to testing:
NCLB Status Quo: Rely on unsophisticated bubble tests to grade students and schools.
The Obama Plan: Support better tests. The Obama Administration has invested $350 million to support states in their efforts to create more sophisticated assessment systems that measure problem solving and other 21st century skills and that will provide teachers will timely information to help them improve instruction.
NCLB Status Quo: A narrow curriculum focused only reading and math.
The Obama Plan: Invest in state and local efforts to develop a well-rounded curriculum and allow states to include subjects beyond reading and math in their accountability system.
SB736 mirrors the goals the Obama Administration has in mind as educational reform. So, if you are a supporter and proponent of SB736, then you will be cheering. On the other hand, if you were concerned about the lack of details, lack of cost analysis, and continuing an obsession with tests, then things are not looking so good.
Read the President's education plan here.
UPDATE: EDWEEK reports that U.S. Department of Education spokesman Justin Hamilton "clarified" Obama's statement about too much testing, by countering it:
"While we're open to how we can best assess student progress in subject areas like history and science, we believe annual measures in reading and math are needed to assess progress toward college- and career-readiness. More must be done to improve the quality of those assessments, so that they're a more meaningful measure of student learning..."That certainly clears things up now....clear as mud. The President prefers less, the U.S Office of Education prefers the more.