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National PTA Applauds Administration's Commitment to Improving Assessment Systems

Media Contact

Heidi May Wilson, Media Relations Manager

ALEXANDRIA, Va., (Aug. 5, 2016)—The following statement can be attributed to National PTA President Laura Bay:

“Today, U.S. Department of Education Secretary John B. King and Deputy Assistant to the President for Education Roberto J. Rodriguez announced that nearly $9 million in grants will be awarded to states to help empower them with the resources they need to innovate and improve the quality of assessments; reduce redundant, unnecessary and ineffective tests; and enhance the reporting of assessment results for parents, educators and other stakeholders.

“It is a top priority of National PTA to make certain that assessment systems are improved and assessments are used properly so parents and educators have the best information to support teaching and learning, promote equity for all children and ensure every student graduates prepared for long-term success. National PTA applauds the administration’s commitment to supporting states as they work to better the quality, validity and reliability of assessments.

 “In too many schools across the country there is an overemphasis on assessments, which has placed a burden on classroom time and denied students a full educational experience. At times, parents also do not receive assessment results in a timely nor actionable way. It is essential that more is done at state and local levels to address over testing, provide greater transparency about the purpose and benefits of each test, and deliver timely information to parents on children’s performance in school.

“National PTA advocates for improved assessment systems by recommending that states and districts: (1) ensure appropriate development; (2) guarantee reliability and implementation of high quality assessments; (3) clearly articulate to parents the assessment and accountability system in place at their child’s school and (4) bring schools and families together to use the data to support student growth and learning.

“National PTA remains committed to working with the administration, states and districts to make assessments better, fairer and fewer, and to ensure they provide valuable information to parents, teachers and school leaders about the achievement of students as they are intended to do.”

For more information about Enhanced Assessment Grants, visit

About National PTA

National PTA® comprises millions of families, students, teachers, administrators, and business and community leaders devoted to the educational success of children and the promotion of family engagement in schools. PTA is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit association that prides itself on being a powerful voice for all children, a relevant resource for families and communities, and a strong advocate for public education. Membership in PTA is open to anyone who wants to be involved and make a difference for the education, health, and welfare of children and youth.