Standardized testing - when used effectively - can be deeply beneficial to students, teachers, and schools by providing an important measure of progress, as well as meaningful feedback about areas of success and areas of growth. As teachers, we know the costs and benefits of assessments. We believe in their value when they are used carefully. They can be a critical tool for teachers and students alike, and we would be unwise to discard them. At the same time, policymakers, administrators, and teachers must invest the time, money, reflection, and work necessary to fully realize the value of assessments and provide more equitable opportunity for all students.
Improve the accuracy of standardized assessments by discouraging teaching to the test, piloting nontraditional tests, adopting computer-adaptive testing and seeking feedback on assessments.
Use testing data as part of a multiple measure accountability framework.
Create and maintain a positive testing environment in schools using best practices to deter, detect and investigate potential instances of cheating.
- Use data to improve instruction through ongoing professional development for teachers, a dedicated data specialist in each school, and return of data to teachers in a timely, disaggregated and accessible manner.
About the Teacher Action Team
We are a team of 14 teachers who met for eight weeks to review research on different facets of testing and assessment, particularly as they relate to New York City and New York State. We considered evidence from different perspectives, held small and large group discussions, and regularly challenged each other’s thinking.