Haslam Defends Standardized Testing Blasted By Some On Metro School Board

"I believe in testing because I want to have our results be data-driven. I really do believe in that," Haslam says. Credit Daniel Potter / WPLN

“I believe in testing because I want to have our results be data-driven. I really do believe in that,” Haslam says. Credit Daniel Potter / WPLN

Governor Bill Haslam is defending statewide student testing to critics who say it’s overdone.

A veteran teacher on the Metro school board is bringing a resolution Tuesday night to say readying for tests with “boring” lessons amounts to “stealing the love of learning from our students.”

Gov. Haslam says he believes in testing, because the state has to have data to measure how its reforms are doing.

“I do think it’s important for us to listen to educators, but I wouldn’t want to back up on having the emphasis on student results being how we’re measuring things.”

State officials argue the tests they require take up less than one percent of the hours in the school year, while other optional tests to check progress during the year are up to each district.

A draft of the resolution before the Metro board calls standardized tests an “inadequate and often unreliable” measure of student and teacher performance.  It calls on the state to develop broader assessments, and would have Metro take a hard look at how much time is spent on testing and preparation, and cut it to a minimum.

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