Standardized testing takes far too much time away from learning, preventing students from developing well-rounded skills and a love for school. Standardized testing takes away the opportunity for students to learn about art, music, finance, and physical education—subjects that keep kids engaged and give them a well-rounded education.
And it’s not just the tests themselves—hours upon hours of test prep, practice tests, and even “pretend tests” to check testing technology results in fewer class projects and field trips and more stressed out and burned out students. Educators know that too much standardized testing doesn’t help their students do better in school—or in life. That’s why we are strong proponents of guaranteeing that more time is spent on learning and instruction and less on testing.
Following our Time to Learn efforts in the 2015 General Assembly session—including passing a bill to form a statewide Commission to Review Maryland’s Use of Assessments in Public Schools—MSEA launched our Less Testing, More Learning campaign to highlight the need to reduce mandated standardized testing. By empowering the voices of teachers and education support professionals in TV, radio, and digital ads, letters to the editor, press conferences, and media interviews, as well as emails, phone calls, and lobby meetings with legislators, we moved the testing issue squarely onto the General Assembly’s to-do list.
Since the launch of that campaign, we have scored several important wins for our students, including:
While we have made great progress in putting an end to over-testing and guaranteeing less testing and more learning for our students, educators will remain vigilant to ensure that classroom instructional time is protected from counterproductive increases in mandated testing.