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Making the Most of Standardized Tests

In his book, Choosing Excellence, John Merrow recommends that parents play a vital role in the testing debate by learning about testing policies and voicing their concerns. Ask your child's school:

  • How many machine-scored, multiple-choice tests will my child take each year? Who mandates them? Are these high-stakes? If so, what is at stake?
  • Do the results have an impact on specific children, or is it the school that is being measured and rated?
  • How much time is devoted to test preparation and practice? How much money is the district spending on outside testing?
  • Does the school share the results with students, parents, and the community?
  • What are the district, the school, and individual teachers not doing because of these tests?
  • How does a particular test influence the curriculum?
  • What are academic standards for each grade?
  • What is the district's policy on high-stakes testing?

In partnership with National PTA. Adapted from "Learning More About Testing" in National PTA's Our Children magazine.

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