News

Global policy report touches on reduced testing reliance

By Laura Devaney
May 26th, 2015

ASCD’s first Global Policy Agenda highlights components of student success and learning

student-policyASCD has released its first Global Policy Agenda, which makes recommendations to promote the success of students, educators, schools, and communities worldwide.

“The needs to promote a whole child education and to reduce the overreliance on standardized testing are just two of many priorities that span all education systems across the globe,” said David Griffith, ASCD director of public policy. “ASCD is committed to supporting policies that enable growth and success for all students, and we believe the introduction of this Global Policy Agenda lays out a comprehensive vision for international educators to support student achievement.”

Each January, ASCD releases a legislative agenda with recommendations concerning federal education policy in the United States. However, in our ever more global societies it is becoming clear that many of today’s key education issues are international in nature and must be addressed for all students in all countries.

It is important to establish an expansive and well-rounded definition of student success that includes all academic subjects, as well as social-emotional learning and whole child supports.

The specific global recommendations include the following:
1. Establish a multimetric accountability system—While schools and localities should enjoy flexibility and autonomy in their decision making, government must be held accountable for the progress of and ongoing support for their most in-need students. It is important to create new, comprehensive accountability models that use multiple measures of performance, incorporate all subjects, include nonacademic factors, promote continuous improvement and support, and report community-level data to highlight shared responsibility for student success.

2. Reduce the reliance on standardized testing—Many existing testing requirements are woefully inadequate to determine whether students possess the knowledge, skills, and traits needed for school and career success. School systems must make sure standardized tests are never used as the lone measure of student performance, educator effectiveness, or school quality.

3. Promote a whole child education—A whole child approach can best prepare students to be college, career, and citizenship ready. To achieve this, all schools must
a. Provide comprehensive opportunities in all academic subjects, including the arts.
b. Deliver social and emotional learning.
c. Provide mental health and counseling services.
d. Promote meaningful student and parental engagement.
e. Make high-quality early childhood education and affordable postsecondary learning available.
f. Provide appropriate and necessary supports for each child across multiple sectors.

4. Honor and support the education profession—Teachers and school leaders are the two most important in-school factors that affect student achievement, yet the current approach to preparing, supporting, and evaluating educators does not reflect this reality. Investments in time and resources are necessary to provide ongoing professional development for teachers and school leaders and successfully recruit, train, and induct them.

“Each child in each school deserves a well-rounded education that provides college-, career-, and citizenship-readiness,” said Sean Slade, ASCD director of whole child programs. “As well, each educator needs the support, both in the school and from politicians, to provide such an education for all students. By following the recommendations in ASCD’s Global Policy Agenda, schools and school systems can establish a foundation for long-term student success.”

The complete 2015 ASCD Global Policy Agenda can be found at www.ascd.org/globalpolicyagenda. For more information on ASCD’s Educator Advocates program, visit www.educatoradvocates.org. Visit www.ascd.org/wholechild to learn more about programs that keep all students healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged. Visit www.ascd.org to learn more about ASCD programs, products, services, and membership.

Material from a press release was used in this report.

About the Author:

Laura Devaney

Laura Ascione Devaney is the Managing Editor, Content Services at eSchool Media. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland's prestigious Philip Merrill College of Journalism. When she isn't wrangling her two children, Laura enjoys running, photography, home improvement, and rooting for the Terps. Find Laura on Twitter: @eSN_Laura http://twitter.com/eSN_Laura