Testing in the United States

States and school districts are far from the goal of better, fairer, and fewer tests, explains Melissa Lazarín.

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idea light bulbIn August, when the Lee County School Board in Southwest Florida voted 3-2 to opt out of the state’s mandated tests tied to the Common Core State Standards due to concerns about the overtesting of students, a packed room of opt-out supporters and parents erupted in cheers.

As unpopular as Florida’s mandated tests are in many quarters, the state’s tests are not the sole culprit. A local newspaper’s analysis of the tests given by the Lee County schools found that 52 percent of the assessments that students take are district mandated, while less than half are state required. In other words, overtesting in Lee County might not be only a state and federal problem but a local problem as well.

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