State Superintendent says 20 hours of standardized tests is too many for Ohio kids, suggests reductions

Ohio students spend close to 20 hours a year taking standardized tests, state Superintendent Richard Ross reported today, as he suggested several ways to trim that time by about four hours per grade.

In a report to the legislature and Gov. John Kasich on testing in Ohio, Ross outlined ways he believes the state can reduce testing by about 20 percent, while also preserving the state's ability to evaluate the academic progress of students and measure the performance of schools and teachers.

Whether his recommendations satisfy critics of ever-increasing testing remains to be seen. He does not recommend any changes to the new state tests that ramped up testing time this year and that sparked some of the criticism of a "test mania": new Common Core tests in English and math and new tests created by the state in social studies, science and American history and government.

Ross instead proposes limiting standardized testing - not including tests created by teachers - to two percent of the school year for every student, and limiting districts to preparing students for tests only one percent of the time.

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