- Associated Press - Monday, October 27, 2014

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - High school students in Kansas will not be able to skip state mathematics and English assessment tests to focus on college entrance exams and career-oriented tests after federal education officials blocked the plan.

The Kansas State Board of Education wanted to allow schools to choose whether to drop state tests in favor of concentrating on exams they take to prepare for life after high school, such as the ACT and job skills tests. However, the U.S. Education Department informed the state that its proposal would conflict with federal testing requirements that ensure accountability in schools, The Topeka Capital-Journal reported (https://bit.ly/1tYD0mV ).

Interim Kansas Education Commissioner Brad Neuenswander said state education officials will now restrict state math and English tests to 10th grade. Students now take the math and English tests in grades 3 through 8 and at least once in high school but some students were tested more than once in high school, he said.

“We don’t want to be redundant or give more assessments than are needed or required,” Neuenswander said.

The state officials said in the statement that tests should not be a waste of class time and provide useful information for parents, teachers and students. This year, the state math and reading tests will take longer to complete than in the past.

The state also plans to reduce testing in other ways, such as eliminating separate writing tests for students in grades that take state science and history or government assessments that require composition. Students in other grades will have writing incorporated into their reading tests. It’s part of the nationwide Common Core standards that include more complex tests.

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Information from: The Topeka (Kan.) Capital-Journal, https://www.cjonline.com


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