Educators pleased to see consideration of “toxic-testing” reductions

OCTOBER 28, 2015

ATLANTA – The recent push by the Obama Administration to reduce the amount of testing our children take is being well-received by educators. “We are pleased to see that what we have been saying for years about ‘toxic-testing’ has finally landed on open ears,” says Dr. Sid Chapman, president the Georgia Association of Educators (GAE). Chapman also points to Georgia teachers’ optimism because of recent comments by State Superintendent Robert Woods that Georgia would seriously look at the issue and the fact the Gov.’s Education Reform Commission is looking at eliminating state mandated K-3 testing and replacing it with diagnostic testing every nine weeks.

“We have continued to warn lawmakers about the over-use and over-emphasis of high-stakes standardized testing that has become ‘toxic' to our students,” said Chapman. “The testing culture that has now become pervasive in public education has actually become a hindrance to our students actually learning their subject matter. Past surveys have shown that some students are spending up to 30 percent of their time preparing for and taking tests that may or may not be aligned with the subject matter they’re being tested on. That is absurd and actually harms students. Educators did not choose this profession to drill students in ‘high-stakes’ testing. They want to teach, accurately assess, and look for the light bulb to come on.”

Chapman emphasizes that there is a difference in tests that help students and those that actually harm them. “Testing until the recent past was, and still should be, used as a diagnostic tool, not to punish and blame. It’s just one part of the entire evaluation that determines whether our children know what they are actually being taught. Tests are great tools when used prudently for determining where a student is and what assistance he or she may or may not need.”