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Opinion: Schools need the autonomy to be unique — but they need accountability too

Students complete their class work at Downtown Magnets High School in L.A.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: Your recent editorial accurately captures the need for education standards that maintain accountability while emphasizing learning beyond standardized tests.

( “Respect for standardized tests,” Editorial, Aug. 26)

The Every Student Succeeds Act, which replaced No Child Left Behind, provides teachers with flexibility, while maintaining standards that ensure our students are learning effectively.

These mechanisms of accountability are necessary safeguards to protect our most vulnerable students. The standardized tests have been redesigned to measure critical thinking and learning beyond the academic curriculum.

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States have been given the autonomy to design their own unique systems to measure student success, while being required to keep track of how the most vulnerable students are faring.

Ultimately, when we ask the question whether students — regardless of race, physical ability or socioeconomic status — are succeeding, standardized tests will help provide us the answer.

Rep. Susan A. Davis, Washington

The writer represents California’s 53rd Congressional District.

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