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It takes Balls to scrap standardized tests

Yesterday, British schools secretary Ed Balls announced the abolition of comprehensive national tests for 14-year-olds, saying that schools would instead track student performance more closely and hold teachers more accountable for their students’ progress. From the Times Online:

The move, which was welcomed by teaching unions, experts and opposition politicians, comes after a series of highly critical reports on overtesting in schools and the bungling of this year’s test-marking by a US contractor, ETS Europe.

The abolition of the secondary school tests means that English students will now take no standardized tests between age 11 and when they take the subject tests that qualify them to pursue university admission.

Here in New York, criticism about excessive testing and snafus in test processing have so far done little to diminish the importance of standardized testing.

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