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Alexandria, VA (2/9/2015)—In a statement released today, ASCD calls on policymakers to institute a two-year moratorium on using new state standardized assessments for accountability purposes. High-stakes decisions about student readiness, teacher performance, and school quality should never be based on a single assessment. The hiatus will allow time for policymakers and education leaders to design and implement a new accountability model that more accurately reflects the full range of student learning and school support. Read the full statement at www.ascd.org/moratorium.
“Standardized test results have become the overriding measure of student achievement and school quality, and it’s time to rethink our accountability model,” said David Griffith, ASCD director of public policy. “This does not mean we should do away with testing, but we must recognize there is an imbalance. A two-year break from the high stakes attached to the tests will allow states to administer the assessments and share the results with districts, schools, and families, while providing schools with adequate time to thoughtfully consider and address student performance.”
The unintended and undesirable consequences of the current accountability model include overtesting, an overemphasis on test preparation, and a lack of focus and funding for untested subjects and concepts, such as the arts, civics, and social and emotional skills. A whole child education is not antithetical to testing, but student achievement and readiness for long-term success cannot be determined by standardized test scores alone.
The moratorium will help educators, policymakers, and communities
Educators can share their perspective by participating in the ASCD Forum on next-generation accountability systems, which is designed to keep the educator voice at the center of this crucial discussion. The ASCD Forum—a series of online and face-to-face discussions between educators at all levels—will take place from February 2 through April 15 and determine how systems can more fully and accurately support long-term student success.
All educators—in the United States and abroad—are encouraged to join the ASCD Forum discussion. There are three ways to join:
Over the course of the 2015 ASCD Forum, five specific themes will guide the discussion. The themes will include multiple measures of accountability; student, family, and community engagement; and accountability for continuous improvement. For more information on the ASCD Forum and a schedule of themes, visit www.ascd.org/ascdforum.
To review ASCD’s policy priorities for the coming year, view the 2015 ASCD Legislative Agenda at www.ascd.org/legislativeagenda. Educators who wish to become more involved with public policy efforts can join ASCD’s free Educator Advocates program at www.EducatorAdvocates.org. Visit www.ascd.org to learn more about ASCD programs, products, services, and membership.
Ross Romano, publicist, 1-703-575-5607 or by e-mail.
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