President of the National Education Association (NEA)
Con to the question "Is the Use of Standardized Tests Improving Education in America?"
"Students as young as 6 or 7 years old are now subjected to weeks of preparation for high stakes tests. Because math, reading, and to a lesser extent, science are the only subjects regularly tested, students are drilled in those topics. Meanwhile, subjects such as history, civics, music and art – which help develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills – are squeezed out of the school day. When we teach only what will appear on multiple choice tests – and when we ask teachers to read from a prepared script and spend no more and no less time on prescribed subject matter – we cheat our children.
Students’ questions and approaches to learning are as unique as each of them. The current standardized multiple choice tests are a crude instrument for assessing student achievement..."
"NEA President Shares Thoughts on NCLB with Washington Post," NEAToday.org, Jan. 7, 2011