Inside the Beltway
What’s going on in Washington?
On August 5, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) announced the next step in President Obama’s Testing Action Plan—a competitive grant competition to help states innovate and improve the quality of assessments; enhance communications to parents, educators, and other stakeholders; and reduce redundant and ineffective testing in states and districts. Applications for the Enhanced Assessment Grants are due September 22, and ED expects to announce grantees in January 2017. (more…)
Spring is here, which for students, educators, and parents means testing season has officially begun. In 2015, several states across the country witnessed the growing opt-out movement, where parents are withholding their children from assessments in protest of the Common Core State Standards and the inclusion of student test scores in teacher evaluations, as well as the overbearing standardized testing culture.
Last year in New York, more than 200,000 third through eighth graders sat out of standardized tests, and the movement has shown no signs of slowing down in 2016. In February, the NASSP Board of Directors stated its opposition to state and district opt-out (more…)
Since the beginning of the 2014-2015 school year, tens of thousands of students across the country have opted out of federally mandated assessments. The opt-out movement has become a way for parents and students to protest the implementation of the Common Core State Standards as well as the overabundance of testing in schools.
One of the key provisions of the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) law requires school districts to maintain a 95 percent assessment participation rate. U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan recently told states they risk losing federal funds if they fall below 95 percent compliance. This could have major implications for low-income and rural school districts that rely heavily on federal funding to hire staff, upgrade schools, and incorporate new programs. (more…)