Drastic cuts in number of tests proposed (N&O)

The image “http://tbn0.google.com/images?q=tbn:rZDBhT53bVI-MM:http://www.ncwiseowl.org/erate/images/DPI_logo1.png” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors. Before you and I get overly excited, I think we need to monitor this very carefully.

But for what its worth, here it goes…a blue ribbon panel has proposed the drastic reduction in the number of state exams our state public school students take.

Someone is listening.

https://i2.wp.com/emj.icbdr.com/ProfileImages/PZ/I8C5FH79348ZSVJ92PZ.gif The Raleigh News & Observer is reporting the story. Click here for the link. Here’s an excerpt:

RALEIGH – If you think your child takes too many tests, a select group of educators agrees with you and wants the state Board of Education to slash the number of exams.This group agreed Monday to recommend dropping several tests and not counting others in the state testing program — a measure that could lead to even more exams getting axed. This proposal is likely to win over those who say there are too many tests and not enough true learning in schools but could anger others who fear this will lead to less academic accountability for schools and teachers.

In a draft report, the Blue Ribbon Commission on Testing and Accountability said, “For the way [state] tests are currently structured and used, there is too much time spent on testing.”

“We’re testing more, but we’re not seeing the results,” said Sam Houston, chairman of the commission “We’re not seeing graduation rates increasing. We’re not seeing remediation rates decreasing. Somewhere along the way, testing isn’t aligning with excellence.”

The Commission is proposing the following:

* Fourth, seventh and eighth-graders are now required to take three state exams. That would drop to two if the recommendations are adopted.

* High school students can take as many as 11 state exams before graduating. That could drop to as few as five, if the recommendations are adopted.

The commission is also proposing the elimination of the state writing test and the eighth grade computer skills test.

Another excerpt:

The elimination of the state writing tests is not something that James Overman, principal of East Garner Elementary School, said would be missed by many people.

“It’s very subjective,” Overman said. “It needs to be restructured if it isn’t eliminated.”

The commission also wants to slash in half the number of end-of-course exams used to measure how high schools are doing in the state testing program. They no longer want to count physics, physical science, chemistry, algebra II and geometry — five exams which are now optional for high school students.

But if the exams are no longer being used in the state testing program, it’s possible that they might be discontinued.

********************************

This is monumental.

Again, let’s approach this with extreme caution and let’s see how this will play out. But you know as well as I do that the No Child Left Behind’s extreme testing mandates have all of our teachers teaching to a test. It is wrong, it is criminal, it is shameful.

I don’t disagree with the premise of NCLB, I don’t disagree with accountability, but when schools and classrooms become test-prep factories, we have failed our children.

We’ll be watching…

E.C. 🙂

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