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Teacher Of The Year Telling Legislators Not To Rely On Test Scores

Last updated on Wednesday, July 20, 2011

(INDIANAPOLIS, IN) - Last year’s national Teacher of the Year is cautioning legislators against an over-reliance on test scores.

Iowa High-School English Teacher Sarah Wessling says it's critical that teachers not fixate on letter grades.

She says scores are an obvious component of accountability efforts, but says evaluations need to be more qualitative than quantitative.

She says the more states stress test scores above all, the more teachers become afraid to fail, with the result being neither excellence nor failure, but mediocrity.

Instead, Wessling says teachers need to consider the best way to reach each individual student, and concentrate on creating an atmosphere that encourages thinking about tasks in depth.

Wessling addressed lawmakers from Indiana and 14 other states and Canadian provinces at the Midwestern legislative conference in Indianapolis.

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