- In a follow-up to President Obama's support for cutting back on student testing, the US Department of Education has released a letter that delineates the different ways states can use existing federal money to do so in public schools.
- The new guidance was sent to education officials around the country from acting Secretary of Education Dr. John B. King Jr, who also released a public YouTube video with details related to the issue.
- A 2015 study by the Council of the Great City Schools found that U.S. students in 66 large districts spend between 20 and 25 hours annually on standardized tests.
King may very well be following advice from his predecessor, Arne Duncan, when it comes to tackling the issue of standardized testing. In a recent interview with Education Dive, Duncan explained that his advice to King was to remain "laser-like focused on two or three things over the course of the next year," and to "jettison" those that don't make quick progress. Issuing recommendations for states to reduce testing seems practical and doable.
That said, under the new Every Student Succeeds Act, states will still face sanctions including reduced or withheld federal funding if more than 5% of their K-12 student population opts out of standardized testing. And because growth in the national opt-out movement shows no sign of stopping, district leaders and school officials should pay close attention to their percentages as they work to curb over-testing under the new guidance.