Standardized Testing


Tom Reed claims the EMPOWER (Enable More Parents to Opt-Out Without Endangering Resources) Act would allow parents to opt-out of annual standardized testing required for their children by No Child Left Behind, such as the assessments aligned with Common Core.

Our school districts should not be punished because parents exercise this choice,” said Reed. “Tens of thousands of parents have already opted their children out of required public school testing and students and teachers alike have felt the financial sting for non-compliance. It simply isn’t fair to take away the resources they need or shift the financial burden to local property tax payers. —Rep Tom Reed

It isn’t fair to deny funding to school districts that fail to show that they meet standards? Really, that is a surprising view for a Republican. Many Republicans, including Tom, are often big fans of accountability and punitive measures.

Parents need to be empowered to make the educational decisions that suit their children the best. Testing can be a valuable diagnostic tool for identifying problems and determining how best to help children succeed. But making high-stakes tests rather than learning the centerpiece of the education system, and the one and only indicator of success or failure, is problematic.– Rep. DeLauro

DeLauro and Reed are blowing smoke. DeLauro claims “… making high-stakes tests rather than learning the centerpiece of the education system, and the one and only indicator of success or failure, is problematic.” That’s tilting at windmills–no responsible educator would make tests a centerpiece or the only indicator of success.

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4 Responses to Standardized Testing

  1. josephurban says:

    Two problems with schools: 1. Politicians funneling billions of dollars to various testing corporations. Corporations see see a multi-billion dollar golden age and they want it. Over testing is counter productive to learning.
    2. Most parents don’t know CRAP about what kind of education their kids need. If parents want to home school, fine. But stop trying to pretend you know anything about what it takes to educate children and young adults. Leave the schools alone do do their job. I suppose they also tell the family doctor how to operate on cancer and the mechanic how to fix the radiator.


  2. whungerford says:

    Politicians funneling billions of dollars to various testing corporations seeking to identify failing schools and under performing teachers. After pushing those ideas, they now opportunistically reverse themselves. Reed’s bill is another example of saying NO without offering an alternative.

    As for point 2, I agree that expertise is needed and ideas that work must be identified and adopted.


  3. Deb meeker says:

    Isn’t the critical issue for Republicans to “prove” that public schools are failing our kids – ergo, more privatization the key? Both capping the tax base (and in so doing depriving districts of needed funding), plus applauding parents and students in revolt – seems very unproductive to educational growth in excellence.

    I’ve read that there must be less than 95% participation in required testing to lose Title 1 federal funding to schools, but what are parents teaching their kids by refusing? Unfortunately, like the Affordable Care Act, Common Core’s poor roll out and original time constraints added to to the confusion and revolt. What appeared to be a good goal – that of bring all US schools to a better general standard – also appears to be great fodder for Republican goal of damaging public school teacher’s reputations, and creating a distrust of public schools’ abilities to provide quality educations.


  4. josephurban says:

    Deb. I think you are correct. The impetus behind all of this “reform” is the attempt to privatize and “computerize” education. Testing corporations, educational software companies and private charter school corporations see schools as a big money machine. The final goal: Get rid of educators. Put kids on computers all day supervised by low wage monitors. Test them. Test them. Test them.


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