Teachers in public schools and parents have complained bitterly for years about the number of written standardized tests students are required to take. It’s just too many, they rightfully moan and groan.
Some educators grouse that they often feel like they’re merely teaching the tests. There’s time for little else. That’s especially true when a dismal showing by students triggers more than just a frown of disappointment from the boss — the school superintendent.
Those days could be on the way out. Finally, Georgia has a governor with a backbone — a state leader who is unafraid to stand up to the nation’s test-mongers and loudly proclaim enough is enough.
Legislation supported by Gov. Brian Kemp would limit the number of tests students are required to take. The best news is that it has already passed muster in the state Senate.
Five standardized tests would be eliminated under Senate Bill 367 — four from high school and one from fifth grade. Sen. P.K. Martin, chair of the Senate Education Committee, introduced the measure. The Lawrenceville Republican agrees with the governor: too many tests can be burdensome. “(It) places too much pressure on our students [and] on our teachers,” he asserted from the floor of the Senate while championing the bill.
Reducing the number of standardized tests is not all Martin’s legislation does. It also mandates that any test not taken earlier in the year be administered weeks before school lets out for the summer break.
This reserves the remaining days in the classroom for teaching instead of grilling.
The fate of the legislation now rests with the House. Members can approve it, table it or reject it outright, but they should know this before making the wrong decision: teachers support it, including the Professional Association of Georgia Educators and the Georgia Association of Educators.
We urge the Glynn County’s two delegates to the House — Reps. Don Hogan and Jeff Jones — to get behind the Senate bill. Georgia’s public school systems are beyond the point of overtesting. They need relief, and Senate Bill 367 is a step in that direction.