1) Is there room for progressive education within a world of high-stakes testing? Are our schools setting high standards for our students? 2) Will having high standards just prepare our kids to fail? 

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There is room for progressive schools in a world where high-stakes testing exists. While it may be easier to accomplish this in private schools, which are not required to give so many high-stakes tests, there are options available in public schools that are considered progressive.

In public schools, there are...

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There is room for progressive schools in a world where high-stakes testing exists. While it may be easier to accomplish this in private schools, which are not required to give so many high-stakes tests, there are options available in public schools that are considered progressive.

In public schools, there are ways to still provide progressive education. In the Winnetka School District, students do not receive letter grades until they are in seventh grade. Instead, these students receive a written summary of their progress. At Mission Hill School in Boston, the school only gives one mandated test and refuses to give additional tests. In order to get federal money, the school gives the minimum amount of tests required, which is one test.

Progressive educators believe in accountability. They believe it can best be achieved by not giving tests that require students to fill in computer-graded answer sheets.

All educators want to have high standards for students. A growing number of educators believe that high-stakes testing and high standards do not go together. Students can be held to high standards without having to take so many standardized tests. Utilizing hands-on learning, learning by doing, problem-solving, and stressing skill development instead of content are ways to promote high standards without high-stakes tests. Having high standards does not mean that students are being set up to fail.

Progressive schools can still exist in a world with high-stakes testing.

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