One of the biggest debates in American public education is over the annual standardized tests the 13 year-old No Child Left Behind requires of states. New Hampshire is seen as a national leader in developing credible alternatives to over-testing in our schools.
Last week, New Hampshire Deputy Commissioner of Education Paul Leather testified before the Health, Education, Labor & Pension Committee, chaired by U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander, as it rewrites the No Child Left Behind act. The committee’s most important proposal will be a new flexibility modeled on New Hampshire’s unique assessment strategy.
Deputy Commissioner Leather’s testimony was based on years of work in school districts from Rochester to Sanborn, the Milan Village Elementary School, charter schools like MC2 in Manchester and Next in Derry and many others. The department of education has worked with the schools to show how to put educators in charge of assessing students’ progress without allowing standardized testing to disrupt learning.
Here is video of Deputy Commissioner Leather’s testimony describing what we have learned (go to minute 45:48).