Teachers, Lawmakers To Highlight Test-Reduction Measures

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — Taking standardized testing to task. The General Assembly is being asked to limit the amount of time spent preparing for statewide testing in public schools.

Pat Warren has reaction from parents.

The pressure to teach to the tests is coming to a head.

The MSA, the PARCC, the Kindergarten Readiness — all part of standardized testing that some teachers and parents and students say strangle the learning process.

When asked if the tests are helpful, middle schooler Peter Filardi said: “Well, not always cause I don’t get to see the results a lot of times.”

“They didn’t go to school to learn to test, they went to school to learn to teach,” said Betty Weller, MSEA president.

The Maryland State Education Association is asking the General Assembly to limit the amount of prep time for testing to two percent of the school year — in some grades, it exceeds 50 hours.

“Fifty-hours. These are ten-year-olds, nine-year-olds, eight-year-olds taking 50 hours of standardized tests. It’s a problem,” said Del. Eric Luedtke, (D) Montgomery County.

It’s not the kind of experience Jamie Roberts wants for her children.

“Well, when you’re testing all the time, how can you teach when you’re testing? And they’re always teaching to the test as opposed to just teaching what they should learn anyway,” said Roberts.

Peter Filardi’s mom, on the other hand, sees a benefit.

“There was an awful lot of tests last year, but I do think the school board was very receptive to looking at that and it’s been much better this year,” Maria Filardi said.

As it stands, by the time a Maryland student graduates high school, they will have taken upwards of 200 standardized tests.

According to the Maryland State Education Association, 95 percent of educators think too much time is spent on testing.

Another bill changes the Kindergarten Readiness Assessment to a sampling test.

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