Citizens for Effective Schools

National Test is the Wrong Answer for Schools

Letter to the Editor
The Washington Post

September 29, 2006

(In response to September 21, 2006 op-ed column, "Why We Need a National School Test", by two former U.S. Secretaries of Education).

William J. Bennett and Rod Paige have it partially right. Many states have responded to the No Child Left Behind Act by establishing low academic standards and then manipulating them to minimize the number of students who appear to be failing.

However, the solution that Mr. Bennett and Mr. Paige propose -- national tests and standards -- would not significantly advance their important goal of "assuring America a more well-educated population."

As the National Assessment of Educational Progress statistics that they cite demonstrate, we already have a test that shows how students in different states are actually doing.

Instead of a new test, what is needed is for the federal government to lead states and school districts to implement those educational policies that research and experience show are necessary to dramatically improve the quality of learning, especially for poor and minority students.

Executive Director
Citizens for Effective Schools

© 2008 Citizens for Effective Schools