President Obama on standardized testing: “All you’re learning about is how to fill out a little bubble”

President Obama is widely seen as a proponent of accountability in K-12 education (see, for example, this article).  However, comments the president made today suggest that Obama does not see standardized testing (a major subset of accountability) as a panacea.

The Associated Press reports:

“Too often what we have been doing is using these [standardized] tests to punish students or to, in some cases, punish schools,” the president told students and parents at a town hall hosted by the Univision Spanish-language television network at Bell Multicultural High School in Washington, D.C…

“One thing I never want to see happen is schools that are just teaching the test because then you’re not learning about the world, you’re not learning about different cultures, you’re not learning about science, you’re not learning about math,” the president said. “All you’re learning about is how to fill out a little bubble on an exam and little tricks that you need to do in order to take a test and that’s not going to make education interesting…”

The president endorsed the occasional administering of standardized tests to determine a “baseline” of student ability.


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