Parents want tests to help kids, not just the ‘system’

November 10, 2017

Parents of public school students generally support the use of standardized tests—but they also believe that they are being overused and not targeted to help their children improve, according to a new Education Post poll.

The poll found overwhelming recognition on the part of parents that they and their children are primarily responsible for their success in school.

In survey questions, 44% percent of parents said that standardized tests are fair; compared with 38% who said they are not, and 18 percent who are unsure. And 44% of parents believe standardized tests have a positive impact on schools overall; while 30 percent of parents said they feel the impact is negative, and 25 percent are not sure.

“We’re hearing from parents that they generally see value and promise in testing, but their experiences with testing do not come close to matching what they want for their kids,” Education Post Executive Director Peter Cunningham said. “Parents told us that they see standardized tests as a tool for the system. They want them to be used more as a tool to help their kids learn.”

Education Post conducted an online survey of 1,011 public school parents nationwide. Among the key issues: 29% say that tests “put too much stress on my child;” and 49% say there are too many tests.

“Testing, accountability, standards—these are all issues that are being hotly debated and that affect parents and students every day,” Cunningham added. “We wanted to hear directly from them about what’s working for their child and what’s not.”

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