President’s Rhetoric Doesn’t Match Policy on Standardized Tests
(New York Times) — Does President Obama believe standardized testing has gone too far? Mr. Obama criticized “high-stakes” tests last week at a town-hall-style meeting, contrasting them with less-pressured tests his daughters took in their Washington private school. Those remarks, which did not receive wide coverage at the time, have since prompted close followers of education policy to wonder whether the president opposes his own Education Department. In the public forum, hosted by the Spanish broadcaster Univision on March 28, a high school student, Luis Zeyala, asked the president if there could be less testing in schools. Mr. Obama agreed that “we have piled on a lot of standardized tests” under federal education law, meaning the annual proficiency tests in reading and math given to Grades 3 through 8 as well as once in high school.