President Barack Obama’s call to limit standardized testing and the release of the latest NAEP scores have again shifted the focus on education reform to how and how often students are tested.
But for education reform to succeed, emphasis should be placed on helping educators implement college- and career-readiness standards, Andy Porter — Penn GSE’s former dean and Director of the Center on Standards, Alignment, Instruction, and Learning (C-SAIL) — wrote in an op-ed for the Washington Post’s Answer Sheet.
“While testing is an important topic, narrowly focusing on assessments diverts our attention from the challenges at the heart of education reform: How to close the achievement gap between students from low-income and minority households and their more privileged, mostly white, counterparts,” Porter wrote.
“And how to move the needle on student achievement so that American children of all backgrounds and income levels are on par with students in China, France, and pretty much everywhere else in the developed world. We will not make these sorts of gains by relying on testing as an education reform strategy. Instead, teachers need to be fully supported in implementing the rigorous content that college- and career-readiness standards demand.”