There’s been a lot of buzz lately in the education world about high-stakes testing.
Students don’t like it because they have to sit quietly for 4 hours at a time. Teachers know it takes up valuable instructional time. Parents aren’t convinced that one number can accurately describe their child’s academic performance. A recent survey commissioned by PublicSchoolOptions.org shows quantitative data to underscore these sentiments.
School accountability remains top of mind in the education world, yet few realize that schools are held to different standards. But, 86% of voters nationwide think all public schools should be held to the same accountability and closure standards.
Voters indicate overwhelmingly that test scores don’t tell the whole story. Nearly 3 out of every 4 voters believe that schools should be evaluated on how well they support the success of individual students. Voters think attitude toward learning and feedback from teachers are more important indicators of quality and success versus a single high-stakes test score.
In the same way that one word cannot describe a student, one letter cannot describe a school. In fact, 65% believe that by reporting a summary of each school’s status using a dashboard of multiple measurements, as opposed to a single A to F letter grade, parents and policymakers would be better positioned to evaluate schools.
Overall these results illustrate that voters support policies that grant parents greater control over the education of their children. It’s not surprising, then, that the single highest mark of agreement supported the #ITrustParents sentiment: 91% of voters believe that parents, students and teachers should be heard before a school is closed.
Parents have long understood that the focus of education should be on the whole student. Now it’s time for policymakers to catch up!