Teach Plus Teachers Discuss Pros and Cons of Testing with Secretary King at Special Event Livestreamed to National Audience

Teach Plus Teachers Discuss Pros and Cons of Testing with Secretary King at Special Event Livestreamed to National Audience

Event Marks Release of Regulations on ESSA Assessment Provisions

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Teach Plus teacher leaders are meeting today with U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King, Jr. to discuss new proposed regulations aimed at ensuring students take fewer, better, fairer assessments in American schools.  The meeting is being held in conjunction with the Education Department’s release of two proposed regulations for the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).  All of the teachers participating are from Teach Plus and all are high-performing teachers who use assessments in innovative ways in high-performing schools. 

The participating teachers are Teach Plus Board member Emanuel Harper, who is the accountability and data coordinator at Herron High School in Indianapolis, IN and a Teach Plus Indianapolis Teaching Policy Fellowship alum; Maggie Lasaga-Flister, a 4th grade science, math, and middle school Spanish teacher at Thomas Johnson Elementary/Middle school in Baltimore, MD and a Teach Plus Maryland Teaching Policy Fellow; and Michael Macchi, a 3rd grade teacher at the Phineas Bates Elementary School in Roslindale, MA and a Teach Plus Massachusetts Teaching Policy Fellow.  The conversation is being livestreamed to a national audience at https://www.facebook.com/ED.gov/ beginning at 11:30AM EST.

“Meaningful, teacher-driven assessment has the ability to transform education,” said Michael Macchi.  “I strongly believe in assessment as a tool to provide informative data that can shape classroom instruction and provide equity in learning opportunities for all students.” 

“Creating, delivering, and analyzing assessments is the cornerstone of how we close the achievement gap,” said Emanuel Harper.  “A well-designed and thoughtful assessment that represents material in meaningful ways to students will inevitably provide us with better information about how to steer our instruction to increase achievement.”   

“It would be impossible to effectively teach students without assessments – but it would also be a disservice to students if we don’t limit the number of tests and ensure that the tests are reliable and valid,” said Maggie Lasaga-Flister.

Through research on testing and test preparation, policy briefs, op-eds, and polls, Teach Plus teachers have consistently said that meaningful assessments are a valuable tool to advance student growth and equity.  Throughout the process of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) reauthorization, Teach Plus teachers have provided feedback on assessment at local, state, and federal level including at the White House:  In October 2015, Teach Plus Teaching Policy Fellowship alums Bootsie Battle-Holt and Farida Mama shared their views on testing with President Obama following his announcement of a Testing Action Plan that focused on streamlining and improving the quality of assessments.

“We applaud Secretary King for engaging in meaningful dialogue with teachers about what makes assessments work for them and their students,” said Dr. Celine Coggins, founder and CEO of Teach Plus.  “We’re pleased that the new regulations focus on two key areas:  that states administer tests that fairly measure how all students achieve; and that states continue to develop innovative, high-quality next-generation assessments.”


About Teach Plus

Teach Plus empowers excellent, experienced teachers to take leadership over key policy and practice issues that affect their students’ success. Teach Plus runs three programs designed to place teacher leaders at the center of improvements in policy and practice: Teaching Policy Fellowship, C2 Initiative, and T3 Initiative.  The programs focus on demonstrably effective teachers who want to continue classroom teaching while also expanding their impact as leaders in their schools and in district, state, and national policy.  Since its inception in August 2009, Teach Plus has grown to a network of more than 22,000 solutions-oriented teachers across the country.  www.teachplus.org