Last updated on: 6/6/2012 | Author:

Dennis Van Roekel, MA Biography

President of the National Education Association (NEA)
Con to the question "Do Standardized Tests Improve 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,”, Jan. 7, 2011

Involvement and Affiliations:
  • President, National Education Association (NEA)
  • Vice President of Education International for North America and the Caribbean
  • Member, Equity and Excellence Commission, US Department of Education
  • Member, Executive Committee, National Board for Professional Teaching Standards
  • Member, Executive Board, National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education
  • Established the Commission on Effective Teachers and Teaching, 2010
  • Former Vice President and Secretary-Treasurer, National Education Association (NEA)
  • Former President, Arizona Education Association
  • Former President, Paradise Valley Education Association
  • Former math teacher, Paradise Valley High School, Phoenix, AZ
  • MA, Math Education, Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, 1979
  • BA, University of Iowa, 1968
  • Born in Le Mars, IA
Quoted in:
Pro & Con Quotes: Do Standardized Tests Improve Education in America?