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American Federation of Teachers Continues Campaign Against 'Excessive Testing'

The labor union for teachers is investigating alternative options for what they call a testing "fixation."

The American Federation of Teachers recently announced the next phase of its campaign against "excessive testing"—investigating alternative options for what they call a "fixation" on high-stake tests.

"Public education should be obsessed with high-quality teaching and learning, not high-stakes testing. Tests have a role to play, but today’s fixation with them is undermining what we need to do to give kids a challenging and well-rounded education and to fairly measure teachers’ performance," the group's President Randi Weingarten said in a news release.

Abbey Beytin, president of the Teachers Association of Baltimore County, said local teachers agree that there is too much testing going on, and the true purpose of testing has been lost.

"The idea of testing—it's to inform the teacher what's going on," Beytin said.

Beytin said the overemphasis on test preparation is hindering students' education.

"The kids don't have [the teachers'] full attention," Beytin sad. "If you want to teach someone, you teach them how to learn."

According to the release, the American Federation of Teachers, a labor union, will spend the next few months having leaders and external education experts study promising practices and policies to serve as an alternative to excessive testing.

 

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JD1 November 29, 2012 at 02:47 AM
Sorry guys - this one a lost cause. High stakes tests are here for at least another decade. The current system of teacher evaluation that plans to factor in student performance and tie it to teacher effectiveness is doomed to fail but will take a few years to totally implode. By then, more data like the recent post election numbers on real graduation rates will begin to surface and folks will take a second look. For now, the general public is sold on holding teachers accountable for student test scores. This too shall pass...
Grace B. November 29, 2012 at 06:30 PM
When my daughter was young, I did a lot of classroom volunteering in one of the local elementary schools. "Teaching to the test" took away at least two weeks of learning the necessary curriculum. It is a very expensive waste of time.

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