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The Testing Debate Nationwide: Online Resources

Reading a variety of perspectives will help you sort through the controversies surrounding standardized testing.

By GreatSchools Staff

Here are some helpful Web sites and organizations that shed light on the controversy over testing.

Web Resources and Organizations

Education Commission of the States: Assessment
This page gives an overview of the issue, links to what states are doing in relation to testing and assessment, and also provides links to additional resources.

CRESST: The National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing
Based at UCLA, CRESST is funded by the U.S. Department of Education and the Office of Educational Research and Improvement. It conducts research on topics related to K-12 educational testing.

National Assessment of Educational Progress
Since 1969, the National Assessment of Educational Progress, also known as the Nation's Report Card, has assessed the academic performance of fourth, eighth and 12th graders in a range of subjects.

The National Center for Fair and Open Testing (FairTest)
FairTest is an advocacy organization that describes its mission as "working to end the abuses, misuses and flaws of standardized testing and ensure that evaluation of students and workers is fair, open and educationally sound."

A Policymaker's Primer on Education Research
Check this site for information on how to easily understand the research that has been done on testing and other areas of education research.

Comments from readers

"You keep scaring kids with this TAKS test business. Even when the child works his hind end off to keep up with the inundated work they already do and the projects in order to make A's, that 'test' has been created to produce way too much stress and it has too much power, which is NOT right. Get rid of it!!!"
"Who is requiring these tests? It is not the educators! It is the legislators who don't seem to understand that children are not the same as raw materials that pour into a factory. I am a parent and an educator. I do believe we needed to believe in more children and that they can achieve at higher rates. I do not believe that we should have entered the feeding frenzy of testing that has been legislated in the name of accountability. Come now - does the public beleive that educators approve of this testing frenzy? Comply with law we must and that includes testing and the very survival of a school based on the results. There are those of us who are great teachers, those who are average teachers, and those who are poor teachers - just as in any profession, a range of skills and artistry occur. We are truly not the bad guys here. Think about politics and why each candidate wants to be the 'education' candidate. Why? It hits our very souls. How? Make it ! look as bad as possible, so my 'fix' will look fantastic. "
"I believe that our students teachers are bombarding our students with tests too much. My child has 2-4 tests a week on top of CSAP and self assessments. This give her no free time due to always studying. The teachers are trying to teach the kids, but due to all these tests nothing sinks in and causes many students to struggle in school. My daughter is always stressed and doesn't get to have fun like teenagers should have. "
"I'd have to say that for the most part I concur with what Texas & New York had to say. However, there's even more! To piggyback onto Texas's comments, it's a lot more than just ill-matched learning styles of the teacher/student. Regardless of which state is giving the test, how accurate will it really be? What about the effects it has on the lower math students in the elementary grades, for example? (Any grade for that matter!) A lower 5th grade class, which desperately needs to learn basic math operations, is unlikely to retain much of anything when the teacher is forced to forego the basics in favor of teaching what an isosceles triangle is and being able to identify the *commutative & associative properties* of addition & subtraction. That's the real scoop! Also, to New York I'd ask if you would please go find out first hand what the teachers truly *care* about! Administration's cares? Perhaps they care a great deal more, since the dollars that will be denied due to poor scores, can much more quickly sever their pay! "
"The teachers and school administrators are so caught up in having their school look good on these tests that they are now only teaching the test. This greatly affects the child's desire to learn, question, think and definitely stunts any growth towards well roundedness. "
"I have the same feeling as some of the comments here . With the differences of learning and teaching for e.g a particular concept can we then measure all students with the same tape . There should be something done about first making sure that the methods used in teaching are same not similar ... only then the kids have a fair chance to be tested on the same scale . "
"Testing for knowledge is important, but I would like to see a school judged by how all children grow, not just in size & knowledge, but in curiousity, courage, confidence, independence, resourcefulness, resilience, patience, love of learning, and understanding. "
"I always have the same question when it comes to standardized testing in any state. How can a standardized test be accurate for all the different learning styles there are? The test will show good results for those types of learners who do well with this type of a test, but doesn't reflect those who have a different learning style & may not do so well when it comes to this kind of testing. I don't feel these tests are accurate or representative of what children are actually learning, just because of the different learning & teaching styles there are. I guess this just goes back to the same argument when students have teacher's who's teaching style doesn't match their learning style. "
"I am so impressed with your website! You are doing a great job at helping the community-at-large as well as the educational community be informed on a great many relevant issues. "
"My point of view about this article is that credibility does not exist from the community about test scores and the existence of standardize testings is a good idea to have organizations that advocate for parents and students concerns however you should create more worshops regarding this issues to educate and update parents about school reform. "
"I would like to know how can my child be prepared for the terranova test when she has had 4 teachers this year for math & science and toghether, neither of the teachers gave homework or try to prepare them. "