Less Emphasis on High-Stakes Tests
HISD should be graduating a generation of critical thinkers, problem solvers, and creative inventors -- not good test-takers. The district can be a leader in reforming the broken high-stakes testing model by fighting for assessments that help students and teachers further their academic goals instead of measuring their ability to prepare for a single test.
In the 20 years since No Child Left Behind, we have forgotten that high-stakes tests are not the only way to evaluate learning. Student progress can be more effectively evaluated through performance-based assessments, deep sampling, and curriculum-aligned tests created by educators -- not for-profit testing companies. Teachers and schools can be evaluated holistically through walkthroughs, climate surveys, and classroom data collected over the school year.
One test taken on one day should never define a student, teacher, or school. After decades of high-stakes testing, Texas ranks 43rd in the nation in educational outcomes. This system is not serving our children or our educators, and wastes precious resources that could be used to support learning that recognizes students’ diverse and multi-faceted talents, knowledge, and ways of thinking.