Standardized testing plays over-sized role in the Delaware public education system


Dover, Del. April 1st — The Delaware State Education Association (DSEA) is concerned about the growing amounts of time, money and energy spent on high-stakes and standardized testing, as well as the use of student performance on these tests to make major decisions affecting individual students, educators, and schools.

The overreliance on high-stakes and standardized testing in state and federal accountability systems continues to undermine educational quality and equity in U.S. public schools.  It hampers educators’ efforts to focus on the skills and knowledge that will allow students to thrive in a democracy and an increasingly global society and economy.

 DSEA believes that standardized testing is an inadequate and often unreliable measure of both student learning and educator effectiveness.

 The over-emphasis on standardized testing has caused considerable collateral damage in too many schools.  It is narrowing curriculums, fostering a ‘teach to the test’ approach, reducing love of learning,  driving excellent teachers out of the profession, and undermining school climate.

For these reasons, DSEA supports a parent’s right to opt their child out of standardized testing.

DSEA also supports locally developed, authentic assessments as drivers of instruction and increasing the time allotted for educators to teach and students to learn.

 We call on the Governor, General Assembly, state Board of Education, local education boards, and administrators to reexamine the public school accountability systems currently used in Delaware.

We urge these decision-making bodies to develop a system that is based on multiple forms of evidence, does not require extensive standardized testing, accurately reflects the broad range of student learning, and can be used to support students and improve schools.