States given millions for new assessments


“As I travel around the country, the No. 1 complaint I hear from teachers is that state bubble tests pressure teachers to teach to a test that doesn’t measure what really matters,” he said. “These new assessments will allow for a more rigorous and relevant curriculum.”

Though changing the design of state assessments is a large step in the right direction, Duncan also pointed out that assessments are only as good as the standards being tested.

Duncan recommended that states should seriously consider adopting the Common Core State Standards. Already, 35 states and Washington, D.C. have adopted these standards, and ED estimates that within the year 40 states will support the standards.

“These new assessments are not going to create an educational nirvana,” said Duncan, “but by creating these assessments and adopting common core standards, it lays the foundation for better curricula and teaching.”

Duncan closed by mentioning that the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, now known as No Child Left Behind, is a good opportunity to revamp assessments for other subjects, such as science and history.

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Meris Stansbury

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