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CEA Legislative Proposal to Eliminate Excessive Testing Takes Center Stage

More and more people are standing up and taking notice of CEA’s proposal to reduce testing and increase accountability in our public schools. Today CEA announced that its proposal is expected to be in the legislative limelight next Thursday, when the Education Committee holds a public hearing that will include bills that address improvements in student testing.

CEA President Sheila Cohen said, “The more we talk about our proposal, the more we see people asking themselves, ‘Why not?’ Connecticut went down the wrong path with SBAC several years ago. Now that it’s clear that SBAC is the wrong path, legislators must correct course, and move ahead with progress tests that provide more learning time, immediate adjustment of instructional strategies to help children, and personal attention for our students.”

Advocates for less testing, however, are not the only ones speaking out in the testing debate that affects the daily instructional lives of every Connecticut student.

“The voices shaping up to be our critics are turning a deaf ear to the enormous good that less testing and more learning can do for our schoolchildren,” said CEA Executive Director Mark Waxenberg. “We’ve been transparent and forthright about what our plan and progress tests—as opposed to SBAC—offer our children. No critic of our plan should hide behind falsehoods and innuendo.”

To ensure that lawmakers are fully conversant with CEA’s comprehensive plan to reduce testing, the Association today shared a detailed statutory version.

Back in February, CEA shared a draft of its plan with stakeholders on the Connecticut Coalition for Public Education, including CABE, CAPSS, PTA, the SDE and others.

CEA’s legislative proposal is a balanced approach that improves accountability, reduces testing by eliminating SBAC, and focuses on student learning and growth. The plan guarantees more instructional time for students so that teachers can instill a love of learning and give children the opportunities they deserve. This involves using a progress-test approach already used by many school districts. This curriculum-based test assesses growth and grade equivalence, allows for comparison between districts around the state, and complies with federal law. Unlike SBAC, progress tests provide immediate information to teachers, who can quickly and effectively respond to student needs and create individualized learning plans.

Thirty-two states have rejected SBAC. Of those states, 21 are creating their own, unique assessment systems—using their own expertise and common sense. There’s no reason Connecticut cannot change course.

“The time is now for Connecticut legislators to take action to reduce high-stakes tests in our public schools and return valuable learning time to the classroom to help all children learn and grow—because a child is more than a test score,” said Cohen.

CEA’s Testing Reduction and Accountability Reform Legislation

Summary of 2015 CEA Legislative Proposal to Reduce Testing and Improve Academic Assessment

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