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House committee OKs testing reduction bill

The House education committee took a Senate bill to reduce testing today and blended it with a House bill to create a new approach to reducing the amount of standardized tests students have to take. 

The bill, Senate Bill 621, would lead to a significant change in the way testing is done in North Carolina. 

Both the House and Senate bills originally eliminated the NC Final Exams in high school. This modified version of the bill will also do that. The bill also adopts a House proposal to replace End of Grade tests in grades K-8 with three shorter tests, dubbed “check-ins” throughout the school year. In high school, the end-of-course tests would be replaced with the ACT.

The House version of the bill originally eliminated testing performed by local districts. The final version of the bill keeps the Senate plan instead, which would require districts to monitor the number of local tests given. If students are spending too much time taking tests, then the bill says the districts would have to come up with a plan to reduce local testing.  

Rep. Graig Meyer, D-Orange, supported the bill but said he worried about the impacts of eliminating all of these tests. 

“I do worry about the unintended consequences of this section and just think that we’ll need to be in touch with our educators,” he said. 

Alex Granados

Alex Granados is senior reporter for EducationNC.