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I got the surprise of my life when people were complaining about a DR editorial. You mean the BYH column is not the...

School board to consider testing policy

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The Daily Reflector

Monday, October 1, 2018

The Pitt County Board of Education today is expected to give a final vote on a new policy that says the regimen of testing students follow must enhance and not detract from the learning process.

The board is scheduled to give the policy its second reading and vote on the document, created in part to ensure that test scores are appropriately weighted in final grades and to minimize the time spent on testing.

“Every effort will be made to ensure that the testing program contributes to the learning process rather than detracts from it,” the policy said. “Efforts also will be made to use only culture-free or culture-fair tests in order to ensure that measurements are reasonably accurate.”

The policy is among several items to be considered at the board’s regular monthly meeting scheduled for 6:30 p.m. in the third floor board room at the Pitt County Office Building, 1717 W. Fifth St. The board also has scheduled a work session at 4:30 p.m. at the same location.

Public school students undergo end-of-course and end-of-grade testing standardized across the state to measure student and school performance. Many students also take final exams and undergo a variety other standardized test geared toward college placement and credits. 

The policy states that the superintendent shall provide for the proper administration of all state-required tests, screenings, and other assessments and any state-required remedial instruction and/or retesting. It says the superintendent, in consultation with the school principals, shall determine how results from such measures will be used in determining students’ final grades

It says that high school students must take all end-of-course tests, state final exams and career and technical education state assessments, and those assessments will count as 20 percent of a student’s final grade in each high school course that in which those tests are required.

It says the superintendent or designee shall ensure that testing time is minimized:

■ Schools will devote no more than two days of instructional time per year to the taking of practice tests that do not have the primary purpose of assessing current student learning.

■ Students will not be subject to field tests or national tests during the two-week period preceding their school’s administration of end-of-grade tests, end-of-course tests, or regularly scheduled final exams.

■ No school will participate in more than two field tests at any one grade level during a school year.

■ All annual assessments and final exams will be administered within the final 10 instructional days of the school year for year-long courses and within the final five instructional days of the semester for semester courses. Some exception apply.

The meeting and workshop also are scheduled to include updates on from department heads and on ongoing programs, along with several special recognitions. A public comment period also is scheduled.

The workshop does include a closed session for the board to consult with its attorney about a a potential or actual claim, administrative procedure, or judicial action, and to preserve the attorney-client privilege, and to consider and give instructions concerning a judicial action titled State of North Carolina v. Rivero Bamaca, 17CR56158, the agenda says. 

The workshop agenda also includes a discussion on training for the school board members. The board does not take action during workshops.

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