Bill to reduce standardized tests for students passes senate

A new bill to cut standardized tests for students unanimously passed the Georgia Senate Tuesday.

Under the new plan, five tests will be scrapped, and the ones that are left have to be given within the last 25 days of the school year.

Gov. Brian Kemp introduced the legislation to reduce testing earlier this year.

If it passes the House, the measure would drop four of eight end-of-course exams in high school. For middle-schoolers, the bill would drop a fifth-grade social studies test that is not required by the federal government.

The proposed legislation also would let the state Board of Education drop the high school exams from being considered in course grades. Right now, a tests counts for one-fifth of a student's overall course grade.

Kemp said Georgia tests more than any other state, and that only hurts the children.

“On test days, it’s making students physically sick because they’re worried they will not do well,” Kemp said. “And that is simply unacceptable in our state.”

Kemp said he hopes reducing testing will allow teachers to focus on teaching, rather than preparing for exams.

“It will increase valuable instruction time for students, remove unnecessary burdens for educators and give parents better peace of mind about their children’s education,” Kemp said.