To ensure that students take fewer tests
Research at NCEO advises states on testing
Sheryl Lazarus wants to reduce over-testing in our nation's schools.
Students spend a lot of time taking tests. They take classroom tests, school and district assessments, and then state tests. On top of that, students with disabilities and English learners (ELs) have traditionally been required to take even more tests, including diagnostic and proficiency tests. “State tests provide important information about the quality of education. School districts should take stock of their other assessments and consider eliminating testing that does not provide useful information or is redundant.”
Lazarus, and the team at NCEO, provide guidance and recommendations to states and the federal government on how to include all students, including students with disabilities and ELs, in testing requirements.
“Tests that do not provide useful information can take valuable time away from instruction.”
The need for her expertise is growing. The recent implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act now allows states to rethink how and when they test all students. Lazarus seeks to ensure that all assessments students take are appropriate. Well-designed tests that are part of a coherent system can provide valuable information that has the potential to improve teaching and learning.
"NCEO has superb educational research and technical assistance expertise. This is the place to come for information on the assessment of special populations." Lazarus envisions an education system where sound assessment practices — not just more tests — help accelerate the learning of all students.