Today, even President Obama said it: “…smart, strategic tests can help us measure our kids’ progress in school, and it can help them learn. But I also hear from parents who, rightly, worry about too much testing, and from teachers who feel so much pressure to teach to a test that it takes the joy out of teaching and learning, both for them and for the students. I want to fix that.” Read more in the Washington Post.
Many dyslexic students face challenges with testing-centric schools. Most learn best with rich contextual experiences and hands-on problem solving, usually the antithesis of standardized tests. The vast majority of dyslexic students in the public school system are also not formally identified, too, so that they can underperform and fail exams because appropriate accommodations (such as extra time and option to keyboard) are not provided.
It may be that we are finally at the point that everyone agrees that current levels of testing in public school are interfering with learning. A Department of Education proposal is suggesting that time devoted to test taking take no more than 2 percent of class time and a similar proposal is pending in the Senate. A bigger question, though, is to what extent test preparation is overwhelming instruction time, and whether curricula are getting hijacked by test preparation materials.
Photo from Washington PostCommon-Core-Accommodations