N.C. Superintendent of Public Instruction Mark Johnson announced last week that significant changes will be made to the amount and type of tests public school students across the state will take. In a press release, Johnson said he wanted to reduce required testing after getting feedback from parents and teachers.
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N.C. Superintendent of Public Instruction Mark Johnson announced last week that significant changes will be made to the amount and type of tests public school students across the state will take.
In a press release, Johnson said he wanted to reduce required testing after getting feedback from parents and teachers.
“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.”
Among the steps, which the release said would start this year, are reducing the number of questions on tests, the time students sit for tests and the number of locally-required tests. Other initiatives include “giving students other ways to show progress if they have a bad test day” and “changing testing policies to reduce the stress at schools around testing time.”
According to the press release, more than 42,000 parents responded to a survey on testing, with 78 percent saying their child “takes too many tests.” In addition, 76 percent of teachers surveyed indicated they believed North Carolina’s public school students were being tested “too much.”
Johnson said that these changes were just the start in “reforming testing.”
“The changes I am announcing today will be a major step in reducing outdated testing methods to measure students’ progress, and the future is bright for North Carolina’s public schools,” he said.
Chatham County Schools Superintendent Derrick Jordan said in a statement that he was supportive of Johnson’s goals.
“The number of assessments has continued to increase over time due in large part to changes
to state and federal laws,” Jordan said. “As a result, more stress has been created for students, parents and educators. While testing is a necessary part of teaching and learning, there has to be a more reasonable balance.”