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NEA on Department of Education’s Guidance on Testing Action Plan

Lily Eskelsen García: We are optimistic that the Administration sees that over-testing acts as a barrier to student success

WASHINGTON - February 03, 2016 -

The U. S. Department of Education yesterday released guidance to help states reduce unnecessary and redundant tests this school year and next school year through existing federal funds under No Child Left Behind (NCLB). Most provisions of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) do not take effect until after the 2016-2017 school year, so states currently are operating under the rules in place prior to the enactment of ESSA. The Department of Education is providing additional guidance about how existing federal funds under NCLB may be used to eliminate redundancy and ensure efficacy and quality of assessments.
The following can be attributed to National Education Association President Lily Eskelsen García.

“We applaud Congress for passing the Every Student Succeeds Act, which was a big step toward ensuring opportunity for all students and ending the era of high- stakes testing. We appreciate the guidance Acting Secretary of Education John King has released that supports states, districts, and schools in focusing on ways to reduce unnecessary tests, including audits of existing tests, and to administer high-quality and fair assessments that reflect the expectation that all students will graduate college- and career-ready.

“NEA has been at the forefront pushing for limits on time spent on standardized tests, as well as eliminating the high stakes that accompany standardized tests while preserving diagnostic assessments that help students and inform educators.

“Students, parents, and educators across this country have long called for more time to learn rather than testing. We are optimistic that Acting Secretary King will continue to listen to those who see firsthand that over-testing acts as a barrier to student success and takes away time from learning.

“We absolutely must ensure that all of our students, regardless of their Zip code, can succeed. As ESSA implementation proceeds, we encourage Acting Secretary King and other policymakers to continue to listen closely to educators, parents, and students across the country so that the transition can be as seamless as possible.”

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The National Education Association ( is the nation's largest professional employee organization, representing more than 3 million elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty, education support professionals, school administrators, retired educators and students preparing to become teachers.

CONTACT: Celeste Busser  202-822-7823,