NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Teachers Think Students Tested Too Much

November 12, 1997

While a majority of Americans support the idea of national tests, most teachers oppose them. Congress decided last week to postpone the fourth-grade reading and eighth-grade math tests which were to have been introduced in the spring of 1999.

  • A survey by Phi Delta Kappa, an academic association, found that 69 percent of teachers oppose the tests on the grounds that students are over-tested.
  • In the survey, some teachers said they welcomed national tests as a road map to what students should know, while others said they feared they would be pressured to devote too much of their time to "teaching to the test."
  • The debate in Congress focused on whether the tests would draw the federal government too far into local educational policy.

Congressional Republicans withheld financing for the Clinton administration's national testing proposal until a panel from the National Academy of Sciences completes a study of whether or not the various standardized tests already being given each year will enable experts to compare students and districts.

Source: Jacques Steinberg, "Unlike Public, Teachers Oppose National Tests," New York Times, November 12, 1997.

 

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