October 23, 2015
Dear David,

Retouched

Thank you for contacting me regarding the issue of excessive standardized testing in elementary and secondary education. I share your view that there is much more to education than how well a student performs on a standardized test. We must find a balance between ensuring educational equity and providing a well-rounded education for our children.

As a mother of two young children, I know firsthand the critical role education plays in preparing our youth for a lifetime of learning and future success. Few issues that we deal with in Congress are as pressing as the education of our children. When Congress first passed the Elementary and Secondary Education Act in 1965, the purpose was to ensure that all children have an opportunity to reach their full potential. As Congress works to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act this year, we must preserve that original intent – of making sure that all students have the opportunity to learn – while at the same time making important improvements to the law on issues like assessments and accountability.

Meaningful assessments can provide valuable information to parents and help teachers support students who are struggling. However, the excessive use of standardized testing serves no one. An overemphasis on testing and test preparation deprives our children of the engaging and enriching educational experiences they need to reach their full potential. It is clear that Congress must address the proliferation of federal, state and local testing, and I will work with my colleagues in the Senate to reign in high-stakes testing while maintaining important measures of educational equity.

Thank you again for writing to express your concerns.
Sincerely,

Kirsten Gillibrand
United States Senator

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