Raleigh, N.C. — Gov. Pat McCrory wants the North Carolina State Board of Education to determine whether all student testing is truly necessary.
He said 30 new tests were given to public school students in grades 4 through 12, bringing the total number of standardized tests for this year to 194.
McCrory said he’s hearing from teachers who say they would rather spend more time teaching – not teaching to the test.
“I’m an advocate for testing results,” he said. “Problem is, we are adding test after test after test, and teachers are going, ‘When am I going to be allowed to teach?’”
There are End of Grade exams and End of Course tests to measure student growth. And new this past school year: Measures of Student Learning.
The new assessments are not to measure school accountability but used to evaluate teacher effectiveness.
“Accountability is important and you can’t manage something if you can’t measure it,” said A.L. Collins, State Board of Education member. “Question is, how do you manage it in a way that is effective for the teacher in the classroom.”
Testing is also tied to money.
North Carolina received $400 million in federal funds for kindergarten through 12th grade to enhance student achievement.
“The real problem is this: Teachers feel bureaucrats are telling them how to do their job,” McCrory said.
So the governor is calling on his education adviser, Eric Guckian, to work with the State Board of Education to review the tests, prioritize them and determine which ones can go.
“With the budget situation right now, it’s tough to financially support anybody,” McCrory said. “But my gosh, if we don’t have the money, we can at least review policy. Which allows teachers and superintendents more flexibility to do their jobs while also measuring results?”