Schools protest ‘teaching to the test’
Local school officials have joined educators statewide in demanding that lawmakers change Virginia’s education accountability structure and cut down on the alleged over-testing of students.
In October, the Richmond County School Board adopted a resolution calling for reductions to the number of Standards of Learning (SOL) tests taken by students in grades 3-11, of which there are now 34, include assessments that would more accurately determine growth in student achievement and better prepare students for colleges and careers.
“Over the career of a child, they could receive hundreds of either SOL tests or benchmark assessments, and that does not include S.A.T., P.S.A.T. [and] A.P. testing,” said Richmond County Superintendent Greg Smith, who has repeatedly noted that while he believes in accountability, he does not feel that a test on one singular day is an accurate measure of a student’s achievement over multiple months of instruction or the school’s role in academic growth.
“That the high-stakes test has multiple consequences, possibly not allowing that student to either graduate or move to the next grade level…
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