The State of Standardized Testing in Minnesota

Many educators have concerns about standardized testing, and this week the Office of the Legislative Auditor released its evaluation report on standardized student testing. The report confirms what many of us knew all along. Key findings in the report included:

  • MDE spent $19.2 million on standardized tests in FY 2016.  Federal sources contributed over one-third of the funding.
  • State required tests strain the resources of many school districts and charter schools.  MDE does not systematically measure the local costs and impacts of state testing requirements.
  • The use of test scores at the local level varies widely with many teachers and principals not feeling prepared to interpret the testing data.
  • Most school districts and charter schools administer other standardized tests and find their locally adopted tests more useful.

The full report can be accessed here.

I have two questions:

  1. How can we justify paying $19.2 million for standardized testing that has little to no return on investment when we have students that struggle to access education due to lack of transportation, food, housing, and the social services they desperately need?
  2. Why are we spending $19.2 million on testing that doesn’t improve outcomes for students?


Author: chadmaxa

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