For Immediate Release

New Poll: US Public Strongly Backs Assessment Reform Movement, Rejects Test-and-Punish Policies

FairTest Reaction to 2015 Annual Gallup/Phi Delta Kappan Survey

WASHINGTON - An in-depth public opinion poll released this morning concludes that Americans strongly opposes rating students, teachers and schools based on standardized exam scores. The 2015 Phi Delta Kappan/Gallup Poll of “The Public’s Attitudes Toward The Public Schools” is the 47th annual survey sponsored by the education magazine and one of the nation’s most experienced polling firms.

“The poll clearly shows that a majority of Americans are fed up with the politically mandated overuse and misuse of standardized exams,” explained Bob Schaeffer, the Public Education Director of the National Center for Fair & Open Testing (FairTest). “The public opposes rating students, teachers and schools based on standardized test scores.”

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FairTest Executive Director Monty Neill added, “These results are a strong rejection of the test-and-punish strategy underlying the “No Child Left Behind” law and many state policies. Members of Congress need to listen to their constituents and eliminate federal mandates, both test volume and test-based sanctions. State legislatures also need to slash testing overkill. FairTest and its assessment reform allies are speaking for a majority of Americans.”

Other key poll findings that are consistent with arguments made by the U.S. assessment reform movement:

  • Nearly two-thirds (64%) of Americans think children are subjected to too many standardized tests. This includes strong majorities from all major demographic groups (Black, Hispanic and White) as well as all political (Republican, Democrat and Independent) [Question 2].
  • Testing was rated last as an accurate measure of school effectiveness [Questions 3 and 5].
  • A majority opposes including student standardized test scores as part of teacher evaluations [Question 9].
  • A plurality of public school parents (47%) support allowing students to opt-out from standardized tests  [Question 4].

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The National Center for Fair & Open Testing (FairTest) works to end the misuses and flaws of standardized testing and to ensure that evaluation of students, teachers and schools is fair, open, valid and educationally beneficial.

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