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Connecticut Education Association Asks Legislators to Cut Back on Standardized Tests

Mar 13, 2015

Mark Waxenberg said the CEA would like to see year-round progress testing at shorter intervals.
Jeffrey Villar, Executive Director of the Connecticut Council for Education Reform.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR
Jeffrey Villar said the SBAC's use of computer technology represents the next generation of testing in Connecticut.

The Connecticut Education Association, the state’s largest teachers union, is calling on legislators to cut back on standardized testing in schools.

The news comes just days before Connecticut students begin taking the new Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium test, known as SBAC. 

The test is aligned with the Common Core State Standards. 

Speaking on WNPR’s Where We Live, the union’s executive director, Mark Waxenberg, said the CEA would like to see an alternative system of year-round progress testing, which monitors student growth at shorter intervals within a school year.

"The issue with the one-time tests being taken in the spring is that it doesn't help the teacher understand where the needs of the children are," Waxenberg said. "It's a one-time shot."

But Jeffrey Villar of the Connecticut Council for Education Reform disagrees. He said the SBAC’s use of computer technology instead represents the next generation of testing in Connecticut. 

"What it does for the first time in the standardized assessment arena is allow for educators to get information about where kids are relative to the standard," Villar said. "And it gives you a much more granular level of data than we've had in the past."

Listen below to Waxenberg and Villar discuss the nuances of how standardized testing is being applied in Connecticut with host John Dankosky and guest Jonathan Pelto:

Connecticut schools are scheduled to begin SBAC testing on Tuesday, March 17.