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San Diego schools reduce standardized testing

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SAN DIEGO – San Diego Unified School District will be reducing the amount of standardized testing in their schools and focusing on “more meaningful” measures, the superintendent said.

SDUSD superintendent Cindy Marten announced the changes Wednesday stating teachers will no longer be required to report results of district tests. She called the changes dramatic and anticipates improvements in student well-being and academic outcomes.

Students will still be required to take state and federal government tests.

The following changes will be effective at the start of the 2016 school year:

  • Stop the district-wide collection of interim assessment data and DRA test results, eliminating the need for teachers to waste valuable classroom time entering and uploading data for the central office.
  • Replace irrelevant district-wide data collection requirements with real time reporting on student progress for teachers to use when and where they need it to support student learning.
  • Empower teachers to analyze student learning results, and revise lessons to meet individual student needs.
  • Support local schools as they develop common formative assessment plans, identifying relevant measures that give insight and critical information about how students are developing in literacy and mathematics.

The former teacher and principal said the changes will allow teachers to teach and students to learn in an environment that values and supports them as individuals.

A recent study by the San Diego Education Association discovered 90 percent of San Diego teachers thought the overuse of standardized testing was harmful to their students.

“Our experience has shown that student outcomes improve when district officials release their control over assessments and encourage schools to select assessments aligned with a framework for learning, relying on principals, teachers and area superintendents to work in partnership, as they receive the necessary support from the central office,” said Marten.