Student Testing in America’s Great City Schools: An Inventory and Preliminary Analysis
With the support of their member districts, the Council of Great City Schools developed and administered a survey of assessment practices to 66 of their member districts in the Spring of 2014. The survey addressed all required assessments, including state summative assessments, mandatory formative assessments, end-of-course assessments, and student learning objectives (SLOs) or other measures for otherwise non-tested grades and subjects. This reports provides a preliminary overview of the findings from the study, which focused on answering the following questions.
What assessments do urban school districts administer?
What are the assessments used for?
How much time is devoted to taking these assessments?
Who requires these assessments?
What do parents think of testing?
Initial findings suggested that the average student in these districts took about eight standardized assessments annually, with the average testing time increasing in the upper grade levels and eighth graders spending the most time testing. Some concerns were raised about the redundancy in some of the assessments that were being administered as well as the impact of long delays in receiving assessments results at the school level on making meaningful instructional decisions.