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Genrich Calls for Sensible Approach to School Testing

Posted by Bob Kiefert, Green Bay Progressive
Bob Kiefert, Green Bay Progressive
Bob Kiefert is the Publisher of the Northeast Wisconsin - Green Bay Progressive.
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on Wednesday, 06 May 2015 in Wisconsin

students-testingBipartisan effort by Wisconsin Legislators seeks to lessen burden on students and teachers.


GREEN BAY - On Tuesday, State Representative Eric Genrich (D-Green Bay), along with a bipartisan group of 23 Wisconsin legislators, sent a letter to the Wisconsin Congressional delegation urging their support for legislation to eliminate annual federal testing requirements.

The Student Testing Improvement and Accountability Act, introduced by Sen. Tester (D-Montana) in the Senate and Rep. Sinema (AZ-9) and Gibson (NY-19) in the House, replaces the current provision in the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) that requires every public school child to sit for an annual test in grades 3-8 and once in high school with one that instead requires testing in three grade spans: elementary, middle and high school.

eric-genrich"The current federally-required testing regime reduces instructional time, sidelines creativity in the classroom, and has not proved to be successful in the effort to improve academic success," said Genrich. "This legislation allows teachers to place more of the focus where it belongs: on classroom teaching and learning."

As the Congress moves to reauthorize the ESEA, a diverse set of lawmakers and advocates have stepped forward to support efforts to remove the burdensome annual federal testing requirements and empower local teachers and school boards to determine educational priorities.

Genrich continued, “Now is the right time to acknowledge that annual standardized tests do not drive student success. While we face an uphill battle in the fight to reduce unnecessary testing in our classrooms, I am encouraged by this bipartisan recognition of the need to free our students and teachers from a system of testing that has failed them.”

The U.S. Senate is anticipated to begin its floor debate on ESEA reauthorization later this month. Sen. Tester has pledged to offer his legislation as an amendment at that time.

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Bob Kiefert is the Publisher of the Northeast Wisconsin - Green Bay Progressive. Before moving to Green Bay in 2008, he was the Assistant Director of Human Resources for Milwaukee County. A graduate of UWM in 1971, he moved to Madison, where he was Executive Personnel Officer and Technology Manager for the State Department of Employment Relations. He is a former Vice Chair of the Democratic Party of Brown County, Director at the Human Resources Management Association of S.E. Wisconsin (now SHRM), and Technology Commission Chair for the City of Franklin. Bob is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force (1965-1971).

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