Statement of the Association of Business Leaders for Education (ABLE) on High-Stakes Standardized Testing

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts relies on a high-quality public education system to prepare students for college, careers, citizenship and lifelong learning, and strengthen our social fabric and economic well-being. As Massachusetts business people and employers, we need employees who are literate and numerate. We also need people with a range of other essential skills and qualities, including:

  • The curiosity to want to help our businesses thrive and improve.
  • The ability to think critically in order to analyze complex materials and data sets.
  • The creativity and imagination to develop innovative solutions to the problems we face.
  • The ability to take initiative and not wait to be told what to do.
  • Good interpersonal, communication, collaboration, and multicultural competency skills.

As business leaders and citizens, we have an interest in supporting a public education system with the resources and capacity to foster these skills as well as prepare well-rounded citizens who understand their right to and responsibilities to participate in voting and be involved locally.

However, for more than 25 years, our public school teachers and students have spent large amounts of time and energy preparing for high-stakes standardized tests. There is mounting evidence that the state accountability system’s overreliance on test scores to measure student achievement and judge school quality has undermined efforts to provide a broad range of learning experiences, leading to:

  • Narrowing the curriculum, teaching to the test, reducing the joy and love of learning.
  • Pushing students out of school and driving excellent teachers out of the profession.

These negative effects disproportionately impact low-income, Black, Latinx, and English Learner students as well as students with disabilities.

For all of the above reasons, we the undersigned business leaders call on the governor, state legislature and state education boards and administrators to reexamine public school accountability systems, and to develop a system based on multiple forms of assessment which does not require extensive standardized testing, more accurately reflects the diversity of student learners, promotes joy in learning, and is used to support students and improve schools.

Click here to read the full statement.

Originating Members

Ryan T. Debin, CEO Momentum Enterprises
Amy E. Butterworth, President and Founder of ResCo Companies | Gibson Sotheby’s International Realty 

Click here to see other signers.

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