Bill Introduced in Congress Would Reduce Standardized Testing Requirements

For decades, schools have been subject to annual federal testing requirements in reading, math, and science. These tests have driven so much else of what happens in schools — with consequences like teaching to the test and crowding out art, music, and any other subject that isn’t tested. 

These tests are inappropriately used for decisions about grade retention, graduation, teacher evaluation, and even teacher pay. 

Do they give educators useful information? No. 

Do they support student learning? No. 

Do they make students want to learn? No. 

The More Teaching Less Testing Act (HR 1741), introduced by Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-N.Y.), would reduce the number of federally mandated assessments that schools must administer. 

It would eliminate several requirements from the 2015 Every Student Succeeds Act, the rewrite of the 2002 No Child Left Behind Act. 

“Annual testing doesn’t happen in our most celebrated private schools, and I think we need to ask ourselves why that is,” said Bowman, a former educator, in an interview with The Washington Post. “Kids in those elite private schools are exposed to a robust comprehensive curriculum. There is no annual testing there. Why are we doing it to our poorest, most vulnerable children? No one has given me a good answer to that question.”

Our national AFT union has set up an online letter you can send directly to your U.S. representative, urging them to support the More Teaching Less Testing Act. Click to write your message.