Too Much Testing? It's Not So Clear

Too Much Testing? It's Not So Clear

Though not focused on Chicago specifically, my new piece is just up over at the Atlantic education page, describing the spate of recent parent opt-outs that's been taking place around the country. Thanks to CPS Obsessed and other parents who talked to me about the situation.

Clearly, opt-outs and other forms of protest are on the rise to some extent, and have already had effects in a handful of places (including CPS).

But anecdotal reports don't mean that everybody hates testing (and even those who protest do so for very different reasons).

And teachers' concerns re tests being used for evaluations shouldn't be confused with parents' concerns about lost classroom time, for example.

My biggest frustration reporting the story is that while there are lots of anecdotal reports of what seems like test proliferation there's no one I could find who's tracking the number of tests that states and districts are requiring so that we can see if the trend is up and if so how widespread it is. A little help, someone?

Just as frustrating, there's no accurate count of the percentage of parents who opt-out that districts, states, or anyone else is reporting -- though The Nation reports that the New York protests last spring amounted to just 1 percent of all parents. Again, some reliable numbers would be useful.

What do you think about the testing situation -- and are your concerns from a parent or teacher's point of view?



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  • What's up with the Atlantic? They seem to be increasing their ed coverage. Why?

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    Here is one study on time spent on testing/number of assessments in a few districts:

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