State testing this week brings back conversations around excessive testing

Excessive Testing?

JACKSON, MS (WLBT) -The stress of state testing week can be felt within many Mississippi households. Kasey McClendon has a 4th grade daughter taking one of the required tests.

“She doesn’t want to go to school," noted McClendon. "She wakes up crying. She begs me mama please don’t do this. And I’m like, you have to take them. Just do the best you can do and that’s all we can do.”

State Representative Tom Miles tried his hand at introducing bills that would’ve explored ways to reduce the number of required tests. All of those bills failed this session.

“We could pass a bill in Mississippi that would be simple that any requirement that we’re putting on our students that’s not federally mandated, do away with it," noted Miles. "And that would do away with a lot of these tests.”

Just last week, U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos spoke at an education conference and discussed some of the flexibility allowed under the current federal plan, Every Student Succeeds Act or ESSA.

“I would encourage more of you to think more broadly about what you might be able to accomplish with an alternative innovative assessment,” said DeVos as part of her remarks.

Back here in Mississippi, parents like Kasey McClendon are hoping officials will take that advice sooner rather than later.

“Do something to take that stress away and just let them learn,” she said.

A student testing task force was formed at the Department of Education last May to evaluate the number, quality and types of testing students are taking statewide.

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