Fairtest’s Reaction to Proposal To Postpone Test-Based Teacher Ratings

for further information:
Dr. Monty Neill     (617) 477-9792                                                                  
or Bob Schaeffer  (239) 395-6773
                                                        
for immediate release Thursday, August 21, 2014

NATIONAL CENTER FOR FAIR & OPEN TESTING (FAIRTEST)
REACTION TO EDUCATION SEC. ARNE DUNCAN’S PROPOSAL
TO POSTPONE TEST-BASED TEACHER RATINGS BY ONE YEAR

Today's announcement that the U.S. Department of Education will consider proposals from states to delay test-based teacher evaluation reflects belated recognition of the growing movement against standardized exam overuse and misuse.  It is a sign that national politicians are starting to pay attention to constituents who are saying "Enough is enough" to testing overkill.

Unfortunately, the Obama-Duncan proposal fails to address the real problems. It only offers to suspend testing consequences for educators, not for students and schools, even though all education stakeholders are scheduled to be evaluated by the same, unproven new exams.  And, it offers a delay of only one year, when even the Gates Foundation proposed two years.  

Instead of this minor concession, the nation really needs an indefinite moratorium on high-stakes tests and consequences to allow the development of new assessment practices that actually support learning and teaching.

The Administration's initiative is merely an attempt to buy time for the implementation of another round of counter-productive federal policies that double down on the failure of the past decade of test-and-punish programs. This cynical action will only further energize the many parents, teachers and community activists calling a thorough overhaul of assessment policies.”

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