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A commonsense approach to testing reform

The NC Chamber has been monitoring and weighing in on the state’s efforts to reform standardized tests taken by more than one million public school students. The right tests are important as we continue pushing for better alignment of education and workforce development.

As business leaders know, one way to improve a system is to examine ideas from a range of competitors. This is a process the state has not undertaken in quite some time when it comes to our system of standardized tests.

The State Board of Education created a task force on standardized tests to conduct a comprehensive review of options. But the task force became focused on creation of small scale district pilot projects that are years away from achieving results.

That’s why the NC Chamber is urging the State Board to broaden its effort. Several states have conducted a process that allows testing vendors to submit information about their products. Those results can then be compared with each other, and with state-created tests.

Without a thorough review, we will continue to have only two options on standardized tests for the foreseeable future: “status quo” or “elimination.” Those two ends of the spectrum limit our ability to have meaningful reform.

If you would like to also weigh in on the commonsense step of a public review of testing options, please feel free to contact us. We believe that this is an important opportunity for business leaders to play a commonsense role in improving our tests.

Thanks for all you do,

Gary J. Salamido
Vice President, Government Affairs
North Carolina Chamber