Test data matters for educational equity. You might not be super excited for your child to take standardized tests, and there are valid reasons for that. Tests take up time that isn’t spent learning, they can be anxiety producing for some kids, and they aren’t a full reflection of everything your child is learning in school. Tests themselves can certainly be improved—and some tests are better measures than others. But it’s also important to zoom out for a minute: testing data, especially measures of student progress over time, can help us understand how different groups of students are being served by their schools, and where we need to do better. That’s important information for teachers, school leaders, and education policymakers—and while standardized tests don’t present the full picture, they do tell us something.
Learn more about what test scores mean (and don’t mean).