U.S. Senator Alexander’s Bill Offers Choice on Testing

dmbtestLamar Alexander is Chair of the Senate’s Education Committee.  His rework of the No Child Left Behind legislation failed last year, but with a Republican majority this year, he will try again.


Would  President Obama veto this bill?

The bill would have to get through the House, and a bill is expected to be filed there as well.  President Obama and U.S. Secretary of Education are supporting annual testing.  Alexander is determined to return control of education policy to states.

This bill has several components.  The testing proposal provides two options:

There can be multiple measures of student achievement including measures of student academic growth.  Testing results must provide diagnostic reports disaggregated by socio economic, racial, and disability groups.

OPTION 1 includes:  math, reading or language arts, and science

  • Yearly tests grades 3-8 and once in 9-12
  • Or grade spans 3-5; 6-9; 10-12 or a combination of the two

OPTION 2 includes: math, reading or language arts annually and science testing via grade span approach

There are provisions for different types of tests:

  • Performance based assessments for competency-based education
  • Formative assessments for teaching and learning
  • Multiple assessments that can provide a summative score of individual academic growth


Posted in Achievement, Public Education, Testing.


  1. Reading bills is tantamount to reading tea leaves. Please clarify for us what the “grade span” for testing option entails. For example, does it mean you can test one of the grades in the 3-5 span and one in the 6-8 span?

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