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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

How much testing is too much?

In many schools around the country, once the state testing period ends, teachers and students slow down their pace and relax. The homework often ends, and the curriculum — having already been tested — segues into a combination of review and a look ahead to the next year's expectations.

In some places, though, testing continues. Not to evaluate student abilities or teacher performance, but to fine-tune the questions for future exams. Test experts say it's an important part of the process, to avoid misleading, poorly written or just plain dumb items that shouldn't be on high-stakes tests.

In New York City, a growing number of parents are protesting the use of their children as test guinea pigs, and they're getting support from some high profile politicians, the NY Times reports. Parents are boycotting the testing days, and some principals are just sending back the tests unopened.

“We’re seeing the early glimmers of a bigger fight,” Frederick M. Hess, an education scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, told the NY Times. “The real question is if states can keep those concerns isolated.”

Have you seen these field tests in your schools, as Florida continues to look for its FCAT replacement and launches end-of-course exams? Has there been any pushback? What do you see as the best way to make sure a test is appropriate if sampling them is not the answer?

[Last modified: Monday, May 20, 2013 6:06am]


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