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Child Development Policy Statements on High Stakes Testing:

American Evaluation Association (AEA): Reports that “high stakes testing leads to under-serving or mis-serving all students”

Alliance for Childhood (AFC): Finds that “most Americans believe that linking test results to rewards and punishments is an effective way to force schools to improve, even though research indicates that using tests in this way has the opposite effect, worsening academic performance and increasing dropout rates.”

National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC): Stresses that “To best assess young children’s strengths, progress, and needs, use assessment methods that are developmentally appropriate, culturally and linguistically responsive, tied to children’s daily activities, supported by professional development, inclusive of families, and connected to specific, beneficial purposes.”

Southern Early Childhood Association (SECA): Affirms that “mass testing of young children is widespread in early childhood education programs in spite of the fact that there is no empirical evidence that such testing of young children contributes to their growth, development, learning, or their daily well-being. The inappropriate use of standardized tests or assessment procedures is a breach of professional ethics.”

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Congress recently passed the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), ending the era of No Child Left Behind. Now it's up to all of us to make sure the new law is implemented to allow schools to focus on what matters most: inspiring students’ natural curiosity, imagination, and desire to learn. That will only happen if educators lead. Click here to join NEA's work implementing ESSA!


The History of Standardized Testing in the United States

From Pre-Civil War to NCLB, follow the timeline of student testing in American schools here.

Educators and Parents on Testing

"Everything revolves around the test. The pace is way too fast for my son. He hates school. He has test anxiety. I have become very resentful of third grade. It has changed my previously confident, happy kid into a nervous wreck with dwindling self esteem."

- Kelli K., a parent in Indiana


Email NEA's High Standards-Fair Testing team for more information about Time To Teach, Time to Learn resources or to share stories from your local organizing efforts.