Press Release

WASHINGTON (January 21, 2015) — The Education Trust issued the following statement on the Support Making Assessments Reliable and Timely (SMART) Act, introduced yesterday by Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) and Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio). This act is a companion to the bipartisan legislation introduced by Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (D-Ore.) and Rep. Ryan Costello (R- Penn.).

“Leaders in the education, business, civil rights, and disability communities agree: Maintaining annual statewide assessments aligned to college- and career-ready standards is essential to ensuring that all kids get a first-class education. These tests provide parents with timely information on how their child is doing compared to their peers, allows educators to measure student growth, and gives both parents and policy makers the data they need to make informed decisions about school quality.

“We are pleased that the SMART Act emphasizes the importance of annual statewide assessments, while also acknowledging that kids take far too many tests — many of which are not required by federal law and are redundant, unnecessary, and waste precious instructional time.

“Too many tests can clutter meaningful classroom instruction. The SMART Act would provide valuable resources to help states and districts audit their tests to determine where assessments are unnecessary or unhelpful so educated decisions can be made about which tests should be eliminated.

“We look forward to working with Congressional leaders in both parties to ensure a sensible, constructive federal policy on assessment that gives educators the tools they need to support high academic achievement for all students.”