Education Testing  Special Report
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Secretary of Education Richard W. Riley
Secretary of Education Richard W. Riley (AP)

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Key Stories

The following are links to major stories on national education testing from The Washington Post. The most recent stories are listed first.

In Md., the 'Bubble' Test Has Burst
May 11, 1998
The Maryland School Performance Assessment Program, the state's pioneering and controversial test of how well students can analyze information and solve problems, has slowly gained general acceptance and even enthusiasm from many principals and teachers.

U.S. High School Seniors Rank Near Bottom
February 25, 1998
American high school seniors have scored far below their peers from many other countries on a rigorous new international exam in math and science.

Assessment Board Delays National Student Testing
January 23, 1998
National reading and math tests sought by President Clinton should be delayed until after his second term, an independent board decided, denying Clinton a key item on his education agenda.

Pilot National Reading, Math Tests to Be Ready by Fall, Clinton Says
November 23, 1997
President Clinton announced that pilot tests in fourth-grade reading and eighth-grade math will be developed by next fall under his plan to raise educational standards through voluntary national exams.

Deal on National Testing Crumbles Under Pressure
October 31, 1997
A compromise that would have given Congress final say over whether Clinton's proposed national tests would actually be administered crumbled yesterday after encountering powerful resistance from conservative Republicans and other critics of testing.

In Attempt to Stop National Testing, GOP Halts Work on President's Reading Plan
October 19, 1997
In a move that has infuriated the White House, Rep. William F. Goodling (R-Pa.), the chairman of the House Education and the Workforce Committee, has halted legislative work on Clinton's reading plan in an attempt to gain more leverage to stop national testing.

A Mixed Report Card on Student Testing
October 14, 1997
Some Howard County parents and teachers have begun to question whether outstanding test scores come at too high a price. Some Howard schools are spending as much as a month of class time simply preparing students for the tests.

House Votes Down Clinton Plan for National Reading, Math Achievement Tests
September 17, 1997
After several hours of contentious debate on the federal government's role in education, lawmakers in the House voted 295 to 125 to support a measure introduced by Rep. William F. Goodling (R-Pa.) that prohibits federal money from being spent on national tests. Clinton wants schools to begin using the tests on a voluntary basis in 1999.

Va. School Board Adopts Tough New Standards
September 5, 1997
Virginia's Board of Education adopted a plan to impose more rigorous tests on the state's 1 million public school students and tough penalties on low-performing schools.

House Republicans Fail to See the Need for Clinton's National Test Plan
August 19, 1997
Battles over student testing are hardly new in American education, but President Clinton's idea has ignited vehement debate because it would represent the first time the federal government set academic benchmarks by which all of the nation's schools could judge their performance.

Clinton Takes Governors to Task Over Education
July 26, 1997
With his major education initiative stalled in the statehouses, President Clinton lashed out at the nation's governors for "dragging their feet" on improving school standards and began bypassing them by signing up some of the largest cities for his new testing program.

Student Math Scores Improve, but 'Have a Long Way to Go'
February 28, 1997
More than 60 percent of fourth-graders nationwide are demonstrating at least basic math skills on the National Assessment of Educational Progress. In 1990, only half of students that age had mastered the basics. But educators warn that the performance of the nation's students in math is still mediocre and often trails the work of students in Asian and European countries.

The Hard Truths of Higher Standards
February 23, 1997
There are few ideas in American education as momentous now as forcing schools to require more of students, then judging what they know with tests that have serious consequences for those who fail. Those two tasks stand as the most fundamental and often the most difficult of any facing school districts striving to escape the culture of mediocrity many educators say still pervades the nation's classrooms.

Clinton School Talk Wows an Assembly
February 11, 1997
Making his case to members of the Maryland General Assembly, President Clinton confronted what has long been the major obstacle to enacting a voluntary, national plan of standards and testing: the notion that it would amount to a "federal power grab," as the president put it in his 54-minute speech.

President's $51 Billion 'Crusade' Has Educators Energized, Anxious
February 6, 1997
The $51 billion "crusade" that President Clinton is launching to revitalize American education, a blur of initiatives he is casting as the top priority of his second term, has the hearts of many educators racing – with great hope, and new worries.

© Copyright 1998 The Washington Post Company

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