Save Our Schools NJ Statement on High Stakes Standardized Testing
Save Our Schools NJ supports assessing a student’s skills and knowledge level as part of a high quality education, but opposes “High Stakes Standardized Testing,” the reliance on test scores to make critical educational decisions such as closing schools, firing or rewarding teachers, withholding a high-school diploma, or keeping a child from advancing to the next grade.
Save Our Schools NJ opposes High Stakes Standardized Testing because it:
- Does not improve children’s educational outcomes.
- Negatively impacts students’ long-term learning, motivation, and stress levels.
- Causes a loss of irreplaceable instructional time as learning increasingly is replaced by test preparation and administration.
- Encourages widespread cheating and corruption in test administration.
- Punishes schools and destabilizes communities that educate the most challenging students, through forced school closures and firing of teachers and principals, widening the opportunity gap.
- Puts an undue burden on school districts that must allocate scarce resources – dollars, classroom space teacher and administrative time – to testing and test preparation.
- Discourages excellent educators from entering the teaching profession and encourages experienced educators to leave the profession, as they increasingly are evaluated on test results not designed to measure teacher effectiveness or a teacher’s impact on student learning.
- Diverts precious public dollars away from education and to profit-making corporations that sell, write, administer, and grade these tests, as well as market curriculum aligned with the tests.
- Places children’s confidential data at risk to be shared or sold for profit-making purposes and without the family’s knowledge or consent.
For the well-being of our students, New Jersey must resist the high stakes standardized testing fad and pursue effective models of student assessment, designed to support learning rather than to punish students, educators, schools and communities.