- President Barack Obama, via a Saturday announcement on Facebook, called for limits on how much time students spend in the classroom preparing for and taking standardized tests.
- Under the proposal, testing would be capped at 2% of a student's annual classroom instruction time.
- The Obama administration is asking Congress to include the limitation in its reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).
Obama's proposal was delivered along with a 10-page plan to help educators reassess whether testing is "purposeful" enough. The proposed cap of 2% is a reduction from 2.3%, the figure reported by USA TODAY as the average amount of time "devoted to taking mandated tests" for eighth-graders during the 2014-15 school year. It’s believed that the proposal and the new guidelines will be well-received by Congress, which has been struggling with a revamp of the federal education mandates passed down from the No Child Left Behind Act.
Outgoing Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said students should still be evaluated at least once annually to make sure they aren't falling behind, while also admitting he'd "supported policies that have contributed to the problem" of over-testing, teaching to the test, and test results being tied to teacher evaluations. The announcement also follows a high number of testing opt-outs in several states this spring.