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State Drops Midterms, Finals to Prepare for Common Core Testing

State Drops Midterms, Finals to Prepare for Common Core Testing

High schools across the nation are dropping midterm and final exams to prepare their students for the Common Core-alligned PARCC testing.

A number of schools in New Jersey, including Principal Dirk Phillips of Glen Ridge High School, “sent home a letter to parents explaining the shift and told the Board of Education that the school feared that it would not have enough time to properly prepare students for the PARCC Common Core test,” said an article on WashingtonPost.com.

“The state testing replaced some older state testing,” said Board of Education member Elizabeth Ginsburg in an article on ABC7.com. “It is a little more time consuming, but we don’t focus exclusively on testing here. Because it’s only one small piece of education. So getting back these educational days puts things in their proper perspective and puts the emphasis back in the classroom rather than pressuring teachers and administrators.”

Students, ABC7 said, “expressed a collective sigh of relief when word went out.”

“The reason for the move is the growth in the number of required tests eating into classroom instruction time, a complaint that has been echoed in school districts over the past several years.”

Phillips said it “took up to two weeks in total for teachers to review and then give students midterms and finals, and adding more review and test-taking time was a bad idea,” said the WashingtonPost.

“It’s a big change from what’s been done before, and I’ve just got questions about it,” said Anthony Bonnett in an article on NorthJersey.com.

“We don’t have a choice – that’s just the way it is,” said Board Member Michael de Leeuw.

The WashingtonPost also highlighted that Verona High School “decided to do the same thing.”

“Every time you add a test, it takes away teaching time,” said Charlie Miller, director of the curriculum in an article on myveronanj.com.

The new policy, the article said, “involves putting more weight on unit tests and including more sophisticated questions.”

Read the full story and comment below. 

Article by Kassondra Granata, Education World Contributor

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