Sinema Introduces Legislation to Shift Classroom Focus from Testing to Teaching

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema (AZ-09) and Congressman Lee Zeldin (NY-01) today introduced the Student Testing Improvement and Accountability Act, bipartisan legislation to reduce federally mandated testing requirements.

“To grow a global workforce, we must ensure Arizona students have the skills and knowledge they need for the jobs of the future,” said Congresswoman Sinema. “Students should master the material, not memorize content for an upcoming test.  This commonsense solution allows teachers to focus on learning, creativity, and critical thinking – the skills students need to succeed.”

“The bipartisan Student Testing Improvement & Accountability Act will roll back federally mandated testing in our Long Island schools,” said Congressman Zeldin. “Challenging our students is important; I believe in higher standards, but we need to stop the over testing in our schools. Passing this bill is an important next step to shift the focus in our classrooms from testing to teaching and ensuring our children never lose their love of learning.”

"The Arizona Education Association commends Congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema for her strong leadership in introducing the Student Testing Improvement and Accountability Act," said Joe Thomas, President of the Arizona Education Association. "Arizona educators, students, and parents alike know that the emphasis in our schools should be on learning and critical thinking, not on teaching to the test. We thank Congresswoman Sinema for sponsoring this thoughtful, bipartisan legislation and look forward to working with her to strengthen our schools and ensure every Arizona student has the opportunity to succeed.”

The Student Testing Improvement and Accountability Act restores testing requirements to pre-No Child Left Behind levels, requiring one reading test and one math test in elementary, middle, and high school, for a total of six tests.

This legislation permits states and localities that wish to exceed grade span testing requirements to do so as they see fit.  The bill also preserves requirements for data collection that help provide accountability and ensure Arizona students receive quality education.