State superintendent announces steps to reduce testing
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Mark Johnson on Tuesday unviled initiatives to reduce the testing required for students in public schools.
The initiatives come in addition to changes already made over the past two years.
“New, personalized learning technology allows teachers to get the information they need about students’ progress without high-stakes testing,” Johnson said. “We will be working with local superintendents and state leaders to reform the system of over-testing. That way, we can give the teachers the time to do what they entered the profession to do: teach.”
Steps that will be taken this year include:
• Reducing the number of questions on tests.
• Reducing the time students must sit for tests.
• Changing testing policies to reduce the stress at schools at testing time.
• Working with local leaders to reduce the number of locally required tests.
• Pushing to eliminate tests not required by the federal government.
• Giving students other ways to show progress if they have a bad test day.
• Using the appropriate amount of technology as a tool for students and teachers to personalize learning and eliminate tests.
More than 42,000 parents responded to a recent survey on testing. Of those, 78 percent said their child takes too many tests. In addition, when teachers were asked what they thought of standardized testing, 76 percent said students are being tested too much.
Changes already implemented include eliminating field tests and Analysis of Student Work portfolios, as well as working with other education leaders to drop tests not required by state or federal law.
“We are just getting started reforming testing in North Carolina’s public schools,” Johnson said. “The changes I am announcing today will be a major step in reducing outdated testing methods to measure students’ progress, and the future is bright for North Carolina’s public schools.”
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