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Yet Another Test: Study Finds Required Assessments Increasing

Yet Another Test: Study Finds Required Assessments Increasing

Schools nationwide continue to take, or refuse to take standardized tests. A recent report finds that the number of tests students will have to take is growing.

The state department of education "estimated that seniors would spend nine hours on the test," according to an article on "Students nationwide take as many as 20 standardized tests per year, and an average of 10 in grades 3 through 8, according to an October report from the Center for American Progress."

Nationally, the article said, "districts give K2 students three times more tests than do states. High school students are tested twice as much by their districts."

“There has been a continuing increase in the significance of standardized tests,” said W. James Popham, professor emeritus of the UCLA Graduate School of Education and a former state assessment designer. “Every hour you devote to testing is an hour you take away from instruction. If you’re not getting real payoff for children from that assessment hour, you shouldn’t be doing it.”

According to the article, in September, "the PARCC testing consortium announced that schools would need to schedule about 10 hours of Common Core testing time for elementary school students and 11 hours or more for middle and high school students this spring."

Eva Baker, co-director of the National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing said that these tests coming out of the consortia "are created explicitly for multiple purposes."

“In the past, there was so much testing because we have held to a proposition that every test serves a different purpose," Baker said.

According to the article, "as a result of their state’s membership in either PARCC or the Smarter Balanced testing consortium, 53 percent of districts are considering revising their own formative assessments in math and ELA—but only 2 percent are thinking about eliminating these assessments, according to an October report from the Center on Education Policy."

"U.S. schools have used standardized tests since the mid-1800s," the article said. "The passage of No Child Left Behind in 2002 mandated annual testing in every state. Annual state spending on standardized testing rose from $423 million in 2002 to almost $1.1 billion in 2008, according to the Pew Center on the States."

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Article by Kassondra Granata, Education World Contributor

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