Our schools spend too much time, money, and energy on standardized testing and use the results to justify high-stakes decisions on school closings, teacher evaluation, and student promotion. The misuse and overuse of standardized testing is undermining educational quality (“teaching to the test”), quantity (multiple weeks per school year devoted to testing), and equity. We are particularly concerned about the harmful impact of standardized testing on the education of low-income students, children of color, English-language learners, and special education students. Students, teachers, and schools should be assessed using multiple methods to capture a full picture of learning process and outcomes (e.g. portfolios, performances, observation).
We call on the Chicago Board of Education and the leadership of Chicago Public Schools to:
- Eliminate standardized testing for children from preschool to 2nd grade and greatly reduce it for 3rd grade and above.
- End the use of standardized testing data to evaluate students and educators and to close schools.
- Fully disclose the cost, schedule, nature, and purpose of all standardized tests.
– OR –