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C&I Panel Discussion: Should Testing be Abolished?

Champaign , USA

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Speaker Information:

Sarah Lubienski, Sarah McCarthey, and Patrick Smith

Experts from the Department of Curriculum and Instruction will discuss:

  • Current uses and abuses of standardized testing in the U.S.
  • Effects of testing on diverse populations
  • Teacher accountability and the new NCLB legislation
  • International and national comparisons


Sarah Lubienski is a professor of mathematics education and the former chair of the NAEP Studies SIG of AERA.  With funding from the National Center for Education Statistics, she has used standardized test data to examine disparities in diverse students' math outcomes, and factors underlying those outcomes.  She believes good, national tests provide valuable information and can serve as powerful levers of reform.

Sarah McCarthey, Professor of Language & Literacy and Director of Teacher Education, studies the effects of policy contexts, including NCLB, on students, teachers, and teacher educators.  She finds that when test scores are used inappropriately, schools are labeled as failing, teachers are maligned, and teacher education programs are damned.  But can assessment be salvaged to inform better instruction?

Patrick Smith is an Associate Professor of Bilingual Education and Literacy. He studies language/literacy learning and human capital in and out of schools, with a focus on Spanish/English bilinguals and Mexican-origin students. (Im)migrant learners are historically marginalized in U.S. schools, and current monolingual testing practices further limit their educational trajectories while providing teachers with little useful information. Smith would abolish testing for emergent bilinguals and linguistically diverse learners.

Panel discussion moderated by Dr. William Trent


Free and open to the public


Meghan Peach


Department of Curriculum and Instruction