Secretary of Education Arne Duncan joined Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy at a meeting with students in Hartford, Connecticut. The main topic was school security, but at one point a student asked what could be done to cut back on excessive testing.

This was the exchange:

“Student Justin Vega said he feels as if all the time and money spent on standardized testing has compromised the quality of his education. He asked whether the money might be better spent on security.

“Both Malloy and Duncan agreed that it makes sense to find the right balance in testing. Malloy noted that Hartford schools could potentially have a 40 percent dropout rate. “We have to do everything in our power to make sure that doesn’t happen. We need a multifaceted approach which doesn’t overemphasize [testing],” Malloy said.

“Duncan agreed about balance and noted that when he was the head of Chicago schools, he cut the amount of standardized testing by 50 percent.”

The student didn’t ask Duncan about what he had done in Chicago, but what he could do now to reduce the time and money spent on testing.

Does Duncan not understand that his zeal to evaluate teachers by the scores of their students has led to more testing than at any time in the past? Why didn’t he answer Justin Vegas’ question?