TESTING FAILS PUBLIC OPINION: The school year’s just starting, and already the American public has weighed in: tests should matter least when it comes to measuring student and school success. In a survey of 4,500 adults conducted by Gallup in May 2015, only 14% say standardized tests were a “very important” factor in gauging the effectiveness of public schools. Nearly two-thirds of respondents, across political and ethnic lines, say there is too much emphasis on testing.
In addition, “55% of Americans and 61% of public school parents oppose including student scores on standardized tests as part of teacher evaluations.” Still, a majority of parents say they would not excuse their kids from taking standardized tests. Respondents suggest student engagement, examples of schoolwork, and percentage of high school graduates as better indicators of a school’s effectiveness.
When it comes to grading the quality of public schools in their local community, 38% gave a B, and 31% awarded a C. The poll also includes public sentiment on hotly-debated matters including Common Core, school choice and mandatory vaccinations.