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The Data Quality Campaign on Public's Attitude Toward Testing in PDK/Gallup Poll

The way forward is to provide teachers and parents more value from tests

Washington, D.C —Released today, the 47th Annual PDK/Gallup Poll shows that most Americans believe there’s too much emphasis on standardized testing in public schools. Following is the statement of Paige Kowalski, Vice President of Policy and Advocacy at the Data Quality Campaign, a national nonprofit that advocates for the safe, effective use of education data to improve student achievement:

“Within one week, we have seen two major polls with different conclusions about the public’s opinion toward testing. Regardless of their contradictory findings, it’s clear we need to have a conversation about how the information from tests is used.

“The backlash against student testing came about because teachers and families have traditionally gotten little value from it. Evidence suggests this is changing, but tests need to give parents more than a number that lacks context or meaning.

“Effective testing produces information that’s useful in classrooms and at kitchen tables, information that helps parents answer questions about their children’s education like, ‘Is my child on track to graduate college and career ready?’ and ‘How does my child’s school compare to other schools, so that I can make the best choice about my child’s education?’

“Of course, tests are just one piece of the data puzzle, and the PDK/Gallup Poll shows that the public agrees. To help create a full picture of their child’s learning, parents also need data beyond test scores, like examples of student work and written observations by the teacher.

“Good testing also provides information that educators can use to adjust their instruction and administrators to adjust curricula and the use of time, training, and talent to improve student achievement. Failing to ensure this key information is in the hands of educators and families means we’re not seeing the real value of testing.”

The Data Quality Campaign is a national, nonprofit organization leading the effort to bring every part of the education community together to empower educators, parents, and policymakers with quality information to make decisions that ensure students achieve their best. For more information, go towww.dataqualitycampaign.org and follow us on Twitter @EdDataCampaign.

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