Commission Will Study Whether Maryland Students Are Over-tested

A new commission will study whether Maryland students are over-tested, as reported by WBAL. The PARCC assessments that accompany the Common Core standards are currently being implemented in Maryland schools, amidst concerns about the amount of time spent on testing, and the cost of technology required to administer the tests online. As reported by WBAL,

The new state testing commission became official after Gov. Larry Hogan signed legislation to set up the group. Its members will include the governor or his designee, lawmakers, the state school superintendent, heads of several teacher unions and parents.

The Department of Legislative Services describes the duties of the Commission to Review Maryland’s Use of Assessments and Testing in Public Schools, stating

The commission must:

  • Survey and assess how much time is spent in each grade and in each local school system on administering local, State, and federally mandated assessments;
  • Review the purpose of all local, State, and federally mandated assessments administered by local school systems, whether summative or formative, and determine whether some assessments are duplicative or otherwise unnecessary;
  • Review and analyze the local school systems’ and MSDE’s interests in requiring assessments and attempt to develop a statewide approach to administering assessments;
  • Determine whether the current local and State schedules for administering assessments allot enough time between administering a formative assessment and receiving the results of the formative assessment to meaningfully inform instruction;
  • Survey and assess if the testing windows implemented by the local school systems and the State have any negative ancillary effects on instruction, materials and equipment use, and school calendars; and
  • Consider the implications for the State if changes were to be made to the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) that would allow for more flexibility in administering assessments.

Watch WBAL’s coverage here.

For more information, find the bill information page here and read the analysis of the Department of Legislative Services here.

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