A new national report released Monday found that students, teachers and administrators believe that testing is useful if it's used to support learning.

Northwest Evaluation Association is a Portland-based educational nonprofit that conducted the national survey. It found that the majority of student participants believe "tests are important for understanding what they are learning."

"We ought to downplay what the results are and what its importance is," state Deputy Superintendent Rob Saxton said. "And we ought to play-up the importance of using assessment in a really smart way in the classroom to inform instruction and to improve the craft of the teacher."

He said student assessments are important, but aren't everything.

Last week, members of the Oregon Education Association took a stand against new standardized tests that Oregon schools are rolling out.

The teachers' union is demanding a moratorium on the "Smarter Balanced Assessment."

Starting next school year, Oregon schools will switch to the new assessments that focus on students' reading, math and writing skills.

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