High school juniors will be excited to hear this news.
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy announced Friday two measures that aim to reduce the amount of time devoted to high-stakes testing—especially for the state’s overburdened 11th graders.
Presently, most high school juniors are inundated during their spring semester with testing. In the same few months, many take college placement exams (the SAT and the ACT), AP exams, SAT subject tests and end-of-year finals. On top of all that, the switch from CAPT to the Common Core-aligned Smarter Balanced tests moved testing from 10th to 11th grade as of last year.
In an effort to alleviate some of that burden, Malloy reached out to U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan, sending a letter that asked the U.S. Department of Education to consider a reduction of 11th grade testing under the existing federal law.
“I am eager to explore solutions for the students who may be our most over-tested: our eleventh graders,” said Malloy in a letter.
Under Malloy’s proposal to the U.S. Department of Education, instead of taking the Smarter Balanced Assessment (SBAC), 11th graders would take the SAT during the school day, using the test for both school accountability purposes and college entrance purposes.
Obviously this isn’t set in stone. The governor said he would put together a working group of teachers, state Department of Education officials and experts to examine if using the SAT was a viable option. In addition, the team will also be exploring other possible solutions.
Malloy’s plea to Duncan wasn’t the only test eliminating measure proposed on Friday. Malloy and the Education Commissioner Stefan Pryor also announced a $500,000 grant, to support local districts with their efforts to eliminate outdated or redundant standardized testing.
“Our goal is to help districts to determine whether they can reduce time devoted to testing and provide more room for instruction in the classroom,” said Pryor.
“We are pleased to support local leaders and teachers in this important work and we are optimistic that by eliminating tests that are outdated or unnecessary, more time can be freed up for teaching and learning in our schools.”
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