Boston Teacher Leadership Summit

Less Testing, More Time for Teaching and Learning

My proposed idea is for the Boston Public School District to be the first in the nation to create and adopt a policy that limits the number of instructional days used for mandated testing. I propose that the development of the policy be informed by the maximum number of days students can be absent without being retained. District and State attendance policy and data systems identify and define excessive and chronic absenteeism, yet if the same definitions were applied to our testing system we would match if not exceed such standards. Indeed, our system of accountable takes an entire year of schooling away from children in their history of K12 schooling. In short, this idea calls for ensuring time on testing is not excessive and that that time for teaching and learning is protected. In the process, the Boston Public Schools will live up to its long herald commitment to "focus on the children" and serve as a model for Districts and policy makers across the country and even the United States Department of Education. This idea has gained the support of the Boston Teachers Union as it was included in their adopted resolution on testing.

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Idea No. 378