New bill looking to reform N.C. education testing

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – Earlier this week, the debate surrounding the NC final testing in public schools occurred across the state and some lawmakers want to get rid of the test.

House Bill 90 aims to shake up the North Carolina public education system.

The House hopes to start from the ground up by implementing an “end of the year assessment” or “end of course assessment”.

A study from last year shows North Carolina ranked 37th in public education.

Local high schools say teachers can broaden topics.

“I personally teach world history and I teach 5,000 years in 90 days it’s very quick. Without the test, I can spend more time on ancient Rome, if that’s what students were interested in,” said Lauren Piner, President of the Pitt County Association of Educators.

Piner also believes students are over tested. She says focusing on students’ passions rather than standardized testing would benefit each side.

The Center for American Progress conducted a study which finds third to eighth graders take an average of 10 standardized tests during their climb to high school. The study also found that standardized tests can help keep teachers accountable. The tests can keep students up to a certain standard to promote a standard growth in their education.

Piner said, “And so I think having that test, you can see where your students need growth. It also provides a little more rigor for some of the courses.”

Right now, the tests are given at the end of the year. The data doesn’t return until the students move to a different grade.

Teachers in favor of the testing say they would suggest moving the dates earlier to help identify their learning needs.

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