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Renewing the Call to Reduce High-Stakes Tests

The initiative is based on replacing the duplicative Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) regime with statewide progress tests that provide a more accurate picture of student learning and development. Such measurements have been used in classrooms for years and allow teachers to adjust instructional strategies to meet students’ needs.
Public education policy that puts the focus back where it needs to be — on student learning, not testing — has long been a shared commitment of AFT Connecticut and CEA. Last year the Malloy-Wyman Administration in response to our advocacy reached out to federal education officials in order to work toward requiring fewer higher stakes tests of Connecticut’s students.
Click here for our public comments on the governor’s outreach to the U.S. Department of Education (DOE).
AFT has been working at the national level since the last reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) to move policymakers to reject an obsession with standardized tests. The law, known in its current form as No Child Left Behind (NCLB), has promoted a “test and punish” culture in classrooms across the country, negatively impacting students and educators alike.
Federal officials have finally begun to listen. DOE Secretary Arne Duncan last month in a major speech on Congress’ current reauthorization of ESEA said that tests should not “take excessive time away from actual classroom instruction.”
Click here for our update on the secretary’s remarks and AFT’s priorities for ESEA reauthorization.
This multi-pronged approach of collaborating with partners and working to improve pubic education policy at the state and national levels is how to make effective change happen.

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