In December 2019, Joe Biden appeared at an education forum and was asked if he would commit to ending standardized testing in public schools if elected president. His answer was surprising — given that the Obama administration, in which he served as vice president, made testing a central part of its controversial education agenda.

“Yes,” Biden said. “You are preaching to the choir.” He said that evaluating teachers by student test scores — a feature of President Barack Obama’s overhauls — was “a big mistake” and that “teaching to a test underestimates and discounts the things that are most important for students to know.”