Education Association Pushing to Reduce Wicomico Testing - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Education Association Pushing to Reduce Wicomico Testing

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Empty Desk in Classroom (Photo: WBOC) Empty Desk in Classroom (Photo: WBOC)

WICOMICO COUNTY, Md. - The Wicomico County Education Association is making a push to reduce the amount of mandatory testing for students in Wicomico County.  

Gary Hammer is the President of the WCEA and told WBOC that a campaign to reduce testing began on Friday.  The WCEA launched a website that includes a petition WCEA is encouraging parents, teachers, and members of the community to sign.  The goal is reducing the numbers of mandated tests Wicomico County students take.

"Well the national average is about 112.  And right now, in Wicomico County, K thought 12, not including benchmarks, not including high school mid-terms and finals, or AP exams, there's 423," Hammer said.

Hammer said an average Wicomico County student will take anywhere from 200-250 of those 400+ potential tests.  The WCEA president said the amount of time being spent on testing in the county is hurting instruction in the classroom.

"When you don't have time to teach kids what they're supposed to know, because you're testing them to find out what they don't know, it becomes an issue."

Hammer said the goal of the campaign and petition is to limit the amount of time spent taking tests to 2% of the annual 1080 hours of instruction in a school year.

WBOC also spoke with Wicomico County Public Schools superintendent John Fredericksen on Friday who said the school district recently did some analysis on the mandated testing.  Fredericksen said currently in the district, only three grades are above the proposed 2% cap and the testing time can be reduced in those grades by making some of the tests shorter.  The superintendent added that Wicomico County Public Schools currently use the minimum number of tests needed to assess if students are college and career ready.

Also, Assistant Superintendent for Instruction, Dr. Margo Handy told WBOC, "We have met with WCEA representatives regarding testing and are awaiting final legislation and clarification related to assessments.  We stand ready to work with WCEA as our educational partners."

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