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NEA supports resolution to roll back high-stakes testing

Educators urge officials to develop new accountability systems


WASHINGTON - April 24, 2012 -

The National Education Association has signed on to a resolution calling on federal and state policymakers to reduce standardized test mandates and base school accountability on multiple forms of measurement. Other initial signers include the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, Parents Across America and the National Center for Fair & Open Testing (FairTest).

“The overuse of standardized tests for high stakes decisions has shortchanged students, teachers and our education system in too many ways for far too long,” said Dennis Van Roekel. “We’ve lost sight of the reason tests were designed—to help gauge students’ comprehension and progress.”

The resolution’s cosigners have joined with public education advocates Diane Ravitch and Deborah Meier to urge state officials to “reexamine school accountability” and develop a system “which does not require extensive standardized testing, more accurately reflects the broad range of student learning, and is used to support students and improve schools.”

NEA has been a strong and vocal advocate of developing new accountability systems. An NEA policy brief issued in 2011 recommends that “assessment systems be developed with the collaboration and agreement of educators and other key stakeholders; should take into account the multiple factors impacting a student’s learning beyond a teacher’s control; and should be designed according to principles that allow their use with students of diverse abilities and diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds.

The full text of the resolution is online at http://www.timeoutfromtesting.org/nationalresolution.

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The National Education Association is the nation’s largest professional employee organization, representing more than 3 million elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty, education support professionals, school administrators, retired educators and students preparing to become teachers.

CONTACT: Sara Robertson  (202) 822-7823, srobertson@nea.org