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Educators, Parents Give State Accountability Tests Poor Marks

NWEA survey coverOnly 37 percent of principals and 31 percent of superintendents consider state accountability tests useful for students, parents, teachers, and administrators. That’s just one of the attention grabbing findings from a poll of students, parents, teachers, principals, and superintendents released earlier this month.

The poll, commissioned by the Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA) and conducted by Gallup, focused on education stakeholders’ attitudes about assessments.

Some of the findings include:

  • More than 7 in 10 teachers, principals, and superintendents say students spend too much time taking assessments.
  • Most teachers, principals, and superintendents do not believe that state and federal policymakers understand the purpose of different types of assessments.
  • Only 20% of principals believe that state policymakers understand the purpose of state accountability tests.
  • Sixty percent of parents, but only 38 percent of principals, believe that state test data is used to inform instruction.
  • Seventy-seven percent of principals in low-income schools, compared with 65 percent in high-income schools, say students spend too much time testing. Eighty percent of teachers and 68 percent of principals in low-income schools say teachers spend too much time on test prep while 71 percent of teachers and 58 percent of principals in high-income schools say the same.
  • When asked to rate different types of assessments used in their schools, over 80 percent of teachers rated formative assessments and classroom tests and quizzes positively while only 36 percent rated state accountability tests favorably.
  • Strong majorities of parents say that classroom tests and quizzes are useful to them, but only 32 percent find state accountability tests useful.

Read the complete report here.

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