Test anxiety

BY TIM LOUIS MACALUSO

Rochester could join a number of schools around the country that forgo high-stakes standardized testing if the Rochester school board approves a policy proposed by board member Mary Adams. | The resolution will be voted on this month. | High stakes testing was a main feature of the No Child Left Behind law, and it continues to be a principal component of the Obama administration’s Race to the Top legislation. Actions under both administrations put a huge emphasis on rigorous testing from elementary grades through high school. | Schools failing to meet state standards have typically faced punitive consequences. Federal and state aid can be withheld from failing schools, and schools that don’t improve have often been closed. | Reformers hail the actions, saying that teachers in the nation’s public schools need to meet higher accountability standards. And they’ve argued that poverty has too often been used as an excuse for low student performance in most large urban school districts. | But opponents of high stakes testing say there’s little research suggesting that the testing regimens improve student outcomes. Just the opposite is true, they say.

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