Perdue gives tests bill an unsatisfactory grade

Posted March 18, 2011 3:53 p.m. EDT

High school students will have four fewer end-of-course tests to worry about next year, but it won't be with the blessing of Gov. Beverly Perdue, a former teacher.

Perdue said Friday that she would allow House Bill 48 to become law without her signature after hearing from teachers that they dislike the state's current testing system.

The bill calls for ending state-mandated standardized tests in U.S. history, algebra 2, physical science and civics and economics next school year. None is required by the federal government.

Republican lawmakers said they would rather have no testing system in place than one they believe doesn't work.

"Personally, I believe the tests now used in school systems are due for change," Perdue said in a statement. "I’ve talked to many teachers and heard from education leaders across the state. It’s clear that current testing does not accomplish our shared goal of excellent teachers in every classroom and the best schools for our children in every community.

"But let me be very clear – I do not support simply eliminating testing. This state must have some process in place for identifying areas in need of improvement."

She urged lawmakers to work with the State Board of Education to develop a new accountability system for North Carolina's public schools.