Obama Administration releases Testing Action Plan for K-12

President Obama is determined not to allow the moniker of “lame duck” stick to him. Last week, Obama and the Department of Education released their Testing Action Plan that aims to reduce the burden of tests that many students are tasked with taking.

While Obama has little recourse in scaling back how often states tests its students, his administration can at least provide an outline.

A part of that outline includes having schools “send parents written notice if students exceed” a two-percent cap of classroom time that students may spend taking tests.

The whole point of this initiative is to utilize additional ways to measure student success instead of just testing. Included in the action plan are ways that schools may determine “how well students are learning and schools are functioning” by using “portfolios, projects, technology-supported assessments, students surveys” and etc. It’s still assessment though – ways to measure students instead of just teaching and letting them learn, something that critics argue is sorely lacking in P-12 classrooms today.

In addition to the cap on testing and student measuring tools, the administration states that it will be more flexible with federal standards when it comes to teacher evaluations. How that flexibility will look remains to be seen, but if they are willing to go easy on testing, then teacher evals may see similar variety.

On his way out of the White House, Obama is attempting to untangle the legacy of No Child Left Behind and create a new path and perhaps leave a Presidential legacy on education.

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