System, Board of Education consider testing policy changes

System, Board of Education consider testing policy changes


Some students will take fewer exams this year if the Board of Education approves testing policy changes.

Assistant Superintendent of Instruction Amy Hollstein asked the Board of Education on Tuesday to approve suggested policy changes that eliminate quarterly exams and introduce pre- and post-testing procedures to better align to the Common Core State Standards.

Quarterly exams no longer meet the needs of students or teachers with the transition to the common core standards and student achievement-centered teacher evaluations, Hollstein said. The proposed testing changes may reduce the number of tests students take, create tests that provide teachers and students more meaningful data, and are based on a beginning of the year pre-test followed by a period of instruction. Students will take post-tests to assess the impact of instruction and measure growth.

If approved, students would take pre-tests between Aug. 26 and Sept. 6 and post-tests between Feb. 10 and Feb. 28. Schools would share pre- and post-test results with parents in home reports distributed April 22.

Changes to testing include:

  • grades 1-8 reading pre/post tests;
  • grades 1-8 math pre/post tests;
  • elementary science pre/post tests;
  • middle school science pre/post tests;
  • English III pre/post tests; and
  • the addition of a more rigorous writing piece to grades 1-8 reading assessments.

Changing the testing procedure requires Board approval. Superintendent Kimberly Hill provided wording changes to Board policies 6411.7 and 6411.8, which can be found on the Charles County Public Schools website at www.ccboe.com under BoardDocs.

Several Board members expressed support for reducing the number of tests students are required to take during the year, which include both county and state assessments. The Board meets 6 p.m., Aug. 26, at the Jesse L. Starkey Administration Building to discuss the policy changes.

Charles County Public Schools provides 26,700 students in grades prekindergarten through 12 with an academically challenging education. Located in Southern Maryland, Charles County Public Schools has 35 caring community schools that offer a technologically advanced, progressive and high quality education that builds character, equips for leadership and prepares students for life, careers and higher education.

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