Is There Too Much School Testing in Delaware? - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Is There Too Much School Testing in Delaware?

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DOVER, Del.- Gov. Jack Markell said more needs to be done to cut back on potential redundancies and inefficiencies in school testing within the state of Delaware. Markell is echoing a common complaint from many parents, who argue that there is too much testing, taking away from instructional time in Delaware schools.

Markell is suggesting the allocation of Department of Education funding to individual school districts to assess which tests should stay, and which should go in the First State. 

In his weekly address, Markell made this argument from the William Penn High School in New Castle.

"Every student here at William Penn and across Delaware deserve the opportunity to graduate high school ready to enter college or a career," he said in the video. "But we can't fulfill that responsibility if we don't know when our students fall behind."

Markell continued to argue that testing is crucial in measuring where students are compared to others. However, he said that too much testing could lead to redundancies or inefficiencies that could hurt their education.

"If we're going to do assessments," he told WBOC Friday afternoon. "They ought to be good. And they ought to be thought through well. And we certainly hard concerns over the last couple years from teachers, parents and others about whether there is excessive testing which is taking away from instructional time."

This is an idea echoed by Secretary of Education Mark Murphy, who explained to WBOC how the plan would work. Murphy said that the department would disperse approximately "a couple hundred thousand dollars" to all of the school districts across Delaware.

These funds would be used to conduct an investigation into which tests should stay and which should go. Murphy said that these districts would either spend the money on bringing in outside staff, or they would use it to pay current staff members for their extra work.

"This plan is all about taking a look at how we ask our children to demonstrate what they know and can do."

At the Indian River School District, Director of Compliance Jay Owens said he is open to the idea of limiting redundancies, although he emphasized that it was important to keep these assessments alive.

"It's important to measure student's progress," he said. "It's important for us to see how the students are doing so we can adjust our instruction accordingly."

Meanwhile, on Friday afternoon, mother of two Regina Martinez said she wanted less testing and more teaching in the classroom.

"If they're taking the test," she said. "That is to me taking away time for them to be teaching and for the kids to be learning."

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