Tester tells Ed. Department to help states reduce testing burden

Senator urges Administration to implement education reform properly

(U.S. Senate) – After voting to give Montanans more power to reduce the number of standardized tests students take, Senator Jon Tester wants to make sure that these education reforms are implemented properly.

Tester last year led a chorus of students, parents, and educators, who called for an end to the federal testing regime under the failed No Child Left Behind Act. The education reform bill that Congress enacted last year, known as the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), allows states to set limits on the amount of time schools spend administering tests.

The Senator, who taught and served on the school board in Big Sandy, is now calling on the Education Department to assist states as they try to eliminate duplicative tests.

“Our education system relies too heavily on testing to the detriment of our students,” Tester wrote to Acting Secretary of Education John King. “We need to ensure testing does not distract from good instruction and that it takes up a limited amount of time.”

While ESSA did not include Tester’s bill to reduce federally mandated tests, it did provide additional flexibility to local districts to reduce the testing burden.

ESSA also allows states to substitute nationally recognized tests, like the SAT and ACT, for a state-designed test for high school students, which could help to reduce testing time.

Tester’s letter to Acting Secretary King is available online HERE.