- not using standardized test scores as the "sole measure of student achievement, educator effectiveness, or school quality."
- having an accountability system that "promotes continuous support and improvement and that also is: "public and transparent, includes a range of subjects beyond English and mathematics, and that incorporates non-academic factors such as measures of school climate, safety, and parental engagement."
I applaud ASCD's decision to wade into the over-reliance of standardized testing issue by our federal and state education leaders and policymakers. We in North Carolina now subject our students more state tests than we ever have, and because of the emphasis on using these tests in teacher and principal evaluations, we are turning our schools into "test-prep factories." ASCD's call for a move to "multimetric accountability measures can't come too soon. I just hope they sent a copy of their press release to Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and to the state education leaders here in North Carolina.
Here's the entire text of the ASCD press release.
ASCD Releases 2014 Legislative Agenda, Calls for Increased Multimetric Accountability
Alexandria, VA (01/29/2014)—ASCD released its 2014 Legislative Agenda on Monday, January 27th, at the association’s Leadership Institute for Legislative Advocacy in Washington, D.C. Developed by the association’s Legislative Committee—a diverse cross section of ASCD members representing the entire spectrum of K–12 education—the 2014 ASCD Legislative Agenda outlines the association’s federal policy priorities for the year.
The key priority for ASCD and its members in 2014 is to promote multimetric accountability so that standardized test scores are not the sole measure of student achievement, educator effectiveness, or school quality. Multimetric accountability systems must promote continuous support and improvement and:
- Be public and transparent.
- Include a range of subjects beyond English language arts and mathematics.
- Incorporate important nonacademic factors such as measures of school climate, safety, and parental engagement.
“ASCD believes college and career readiness includes educating the whole child and involves more than proficiency in one or two subjects,” said David Griffith, ASCD director of public policy. “Multimetric accountability systems should use formative assessments, evidence of student learning, and progress toward personal growth objectives to measure student and teacher success rather than rely on standardized test scores as the primary reference point.”
To focus improvement efforts on the need of students, the association is also recommending a well-rounded approach to education that supports the whole child, safe and effective conditions for learning, and ongoing professional development to support educator effectiveness. ASCD firmly believes policymakers must consider the best interests of students as the deciding factor in each and every recommendation. Some additional items of importance this year are
- The availability of Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, or college dual-enrollment courses for all students.
- In-school social and emotional learning, mental health services, and counseling to increase students’ capacity to achieve.
- Making the necessary investments in time and money to support educators along the entire career continuum.
For educators seeking to become informed about the education policy and politics that influence their day-to-day work, ASCD offers the Educator Advocates program. This program empowers educators to speak up and shape our nation’s future by joining with colleagues to help lawmakers make the best education decisions. Educator Advocates receive a host of benefits, including theCapitol Connection weekly e-newsletter and just-in-time e-mail alerts on important issues, designed to position them to make a decisive difference.