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Leon School Board Laments Using Students To Test State Exam System

MGN Online

Leon County’s school board is pushing back against the state’s pre-testing program.  Board members say students are losing valuable classroom time so that the state can test its standardized exam system.

Most Florida students take their exams online. And every year districts have to do what’s called a load test to make sure the system can handle thousands of students on the system at once. That’s in addition to the regular state testing window. And in addition to the practice exams students have to take.

“To me, load testing on that software is their responsibility. Our responsibility is for the devices and the bandwidth here," says the district's Executive Director of Technology Services, Williams Nimmons.

School board member Roseanne Wood describes the situation as death by a thousand cuts.

There’s a growing push to return those exams to paper & pencil based assessments. District superintendents say that can save precious instructional time by keeping kids in one place, and not having to rotate them in and out of computer labs. Superintendents want to eliminate end-course exams and at least in the Senate, there appears to be growing support for the idea.

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Lynn Hatter is a Florida A&M University graduate with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Lynn has served as reporter/producer for WFSU since 2007 with education and health care issues as her key coverage areas.  She is an award-winning member of the Capital Press Corps and has participated in the NPR Kaiser Health News Reporting Partnership and NPR Education Initiative. 

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