Skip to Content

Time to Learn

Over-testing. Redundant testing. Unreliable testing. Fed up with too much testing and too little learning, educators, parents, students, lawmakers and citizens have joined forces in NEA’s Time to Learn campaign, a grassroots movement to return America’s schools from drill-and-punish testing bunkers to hubs of learning and discovery.

Buoyed by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), the federal education law that empowers communities to take a seat at the decision-making table, we’re driving implementation of fair and reliable accountability systems that are based on multiple measures that demonstrate student growth and academic achievement — not just test scores. Across the country and in communities big and small, we’re fighting for real learning and honest assessments and the schools our students deserve.

Why ESSA Matters

For 14 long years, students and educators have lived under the deeply flawed No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act. The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) returns decision making for our nation’s education back where it belongs – in the hands of local educators, parents, and communities – but only if we all work together to make sure this new law becomes the game changer it promised to be.

Testing Landscape

Unfortunately our education system has lost sight of what it means to assess a student. Testing madness has taken over teaching and learning.

Learn more»


No bubble test can measure a kid's curiosity. In building fair and meaningful accountability systems, multiple measures of student learning and school progress are the way to go!

Appropriate tests inform and improve instruction>>



From the type of tests, to the amount of time spent on prepping students, to the cost to districts, NEA's Time to Learn campaign is pulling back the curtain on high-stakes and education leaders are taking notice.

Read more>>


Connect With Us!

Facebook icon Twitter icon YouTube icon


Congress recently passed the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), ending the era of No Child Left Behind. Now it's up to all of us to make sure the new law is implemented to allow schools to focus on what matters most: inspiring students’ natural curiosity, imagination, and desire to learn. That will only happen if educators lead. Click here to join NEA's work implementing ESSA!


The History of Standardized Testing in the United States

From Pre-Civil War to NCLB, follow the timeline of student testing in American schools here.

Educators and Parents on Testing

"Everything revolves around the test. The pace is way too fast for my son. He hates school. He has test anxiety. I have become very resentful of third grade. It has changed my previously confident, happy kid into a nervous wreck with dwindling self esteem."

- Kelli K., a parent in Indiana


Email NEA's High Standards-Fair Testing team for more information about Time To Teach, Time to Learn resources or to share stories from your local organizing efforts.