Teachers, particularly BIPOC teachers, value state testing

Teachers, particularly BIPOC teachers, value state testing

By Dale Chu

A new survey conducted by Educators for Excellence offers some intriguing insights into how teachers see the process of education recovery and what schools might need to help get students back on track. Based on a representative sample of 1,000 full-time public school teachers, the survey, sponsored by NWEA, also included an additional, nationally representative sample of 300 BIPOC teachers to better understand how they view policy issues. Notably, BIPOC teachers had more positive opinions of state assessments.

Indeed, while most teachers recognize the importance of state testing as a useful gauge of student progress, BIPOC teachers placed a higher premium on rigorous measurement:

BIPOC teachers see state assessments in a particularly favorable light compared to teachers generally. According to the survey, about half of all teachers strongly believe state summative tests accurately measure student mastery of state content standards, while three-fourths of BIPOC teachers feel that way. In addition, 60 percent of all teachers say they get results in time for them to be useful for informing their instructional practice, while more than 80 percent of BIPOC teachers say that’s the case.

The gap between BIPOC teachers and teachers generally is interesting to say the least, though perhaps not altogether surprising given the support state assessments have long enjoyed from minority communities after decades (think pre-NCLB) of having the performance of their children shortchanged and swept under the rug.

The study also found that BIPOC teachers report state tests to be less disruptive to teaching and learning. At the same time, they would like to see student performance reported in an “asset-based way” that highlights student strengths along with areas for improvement. As states contemplate ways to improve their assessment systems, they would do well to take this feedback to heart.

The upshot from all of this is that despite the anti-testing din, support for state assessments remains widespread among teachers of all stripes. Teachers are clear on the purpose of state testing and they believe state tests are easy to administer. As schools emerge from the pandemic, it will be all the more important for policymakers to ensure educators and families have access to high-quality student performance data. Anything less would be a disservice to our schools.

No Comments

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.