North Carolina’s Superintendent Mark Johnson has announced a set of steps he plans to take over the next two years to reduce the number of tests K-12 students have to take.
“We are just getting started reforming testing in North Carolina’s public schools,” Superintendent Johnson said in a press release. “The changes I am announcing today will be a major step in reducing outdated testing methods to measure students’ progress, and the future is bright for North Carolina’s public schools.”
“We will be working with local superintendents and state leaders to reform the system of over-testing,” he added. “That way, we can give the teachers the time to do what they entered the profession to do: teach.”
The announcement comes after a series of listening tour events to garner public feedback as well as a survey launched by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (DPI).
The survey created by DPI last year saw incredible participation with over 42,000 parents and teachers responding.
An overwhelming 78 percent of parent respondents said their child takes too many tests. 76 percent of teachers agreed that students were being tested too much.
Steps Johnson intends to take include:
- Reducing the number of questions on tests
- Reducing the time students must sit for tests
- Changing testing policies to reduce the stress at schools around testing time
- Working with local leaders to reduce the number of locally required tests
- Pushing to eliminate tests not required by Washington, D.C.
- Giving students other ways to show progress if they have a bad test day
- Using the appropriate amount of technology as a tool for students and teachers to personalize learning and eliminate tests
Johnson says that these steps will go hand-in-hand with increased use of personalized learning and technology.
“New, personalized learning technology allows teachers to get the information they need about students’ progress without high-stakes testing,” Johnson said.