June 11, 2008

Fewer tests for Bristol kids?

Students may get a break next year.
School Superintendent Philip Streifer said that officials are eyeing a new policy that would restrict the number of tests that elementary and middle school students would need to take each week.
“We are trying to cut back on the big assessments” as well, Streifer said.
The policy under consideration would call for no more than three tests per week, the superintendent said.
City Councilor Frank Nicastro said he’s heard a lot of concern from people who are worried that students are taking too many tests and that teachers don’t have enough time to get through lessons.
Streifer said that officials intend to study the issue more before deciding whether to make a recommendation to the Board of Education about changing the policy.
If slicing the number of tests is recommended, he said, it would likely be in the fall.
Unit and chapter tests – as well as midterms and finals – are counted as tests, Streifer said.
“Shorter assessments to check on student learning during instruction are not tests,” he added.
Some districts across the country, including Montgomery County, Md. and Rochester, N.Y., have either already made the change to fewer tests or they are looking into it.
With mandated testing on the rise to meet state and federal standards, there is a growing concern in the educational community that students are being asked to take too many tests.

Copyright 2008. All rights reserved.
Contact Steve Collins at scollins@bristolpress.com

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