Focus Group Research Confirms Poll Results

K-12 Testing

Detailed focus groups conducted by the National Issues Forums (NIF) confirm poll findings that citizens oppose high-stakes testing and too much reliance on tests. NIF conducted 60 focus groups on education in more than 30 states. They found that while parents saw standardized tests as one useful indicator of performance, “they did not see such tests as the way to determine how well students, teachers, and schools are doing, or as the definitive measurement to hold them accountable.” Three reasons were cited for why “too much reliance on a standardized test does not guarantee quality education”:


“1. Standardized tests do not accurately measure what students learn.
“2. Standards would cause teachers to ‘teach to the test’...instead of providing the best possible instruction.
“3. People may not agree about what standards should consist of and who should develop them.”


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