Providing a Reality Check on Student Testing

November 17, 2015

The conversation around student testing in U.S. public schools took an important step forward when the Council of the Great City Schools (CGCS) shared new data recently on the frequency of testing in 66 of the nation’s largest school districts. The Hatcher Group worked with CGCS to develop and implement a national release strategy and promote a news conference at the National Press Club.

The Council’s report won front-page coverage across the nation, garnering more than 1,400 hits in the week after its Oct. 24 release. The report, the result of a two-year research project by CGCS, provided important context for a simultaneous White House announcement regarding the administration’s updated position calling for less testing and more coherent testing systems in U.S. schools. Prior to the CGCS release, there was little accepted data on how often students were tested and who was responsible at the national, state and local levels for mandating the tests.

A capacity crowd showed up at the National Press Club on Oct. 26 to hear Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, Deputy Secretary John King and CGCS Executive Director Michael Casserly respond to questions from the media. The combination of CGCS data and the new policy pronouncement represent a turning point in the conversation about how best to monitor and report student academic progress in public schools. The Hatcher Group was proud to be part of this important moment.

Washington Post: Study says standardized testing is overwhelming nation’s public schools

Los Angeles Times: Your kids take 112 tests between pre-K and high school

The New York Times: Dialing Back on School Testing

C-SPAN: Standardized Testing