NEW YORK — The National School Board Association and the Association of School Boards have come together to call for increased scrutiny and more transparency about the testing of students in school districts across the country.
The alliance, which represents the nation’s school boards, said in a statement on Wednesday that it has come together “to call on the Department of Education to immediately stop the practice of school district testing.”
The statement, posted on the National Association of State Boards of Education’s website, said school districts and districts can share data on students’ behavior but they should not be subject to testing for it.
The statement also called on schools to have “robust data management systems that ensure that data is being collected to the highest degree possible and that data are protected in a timely manner.”
The group urged states to work together to improve school accountability.
It said school district data on behavior can be used to track the behavior of students, and could be used by school districts to evaluate students.
“A system that is based on the subjective and inaccurate perceptions of the school board, instead of the objective and accurate perceptions of a child, risks creating an environment in which all students are treated differently and schools are more likely to fall behind,” the statement said.
The NASSA said the alliance’s report calls for the creation of a task force to “provide guidance to school districts, parents, educators, and others in evaluating student performance in a manner that is consistent with the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and other applicable laws.”
The task force would be responsible for monitoring the testing process and identifying ways to reduce the number of negative outcomes that can be caused by school testing.
The report also calls for a national strategy for improving the way schools are tested.
It says states need to improve their policies to ensure schools receive consistent and accurate data, but that schools should also develop policies that require students to use an in-person testing process for the purpose of identifying behavioral and educational problems.