Relief could be coming to reduce the stress of administering North Carolina’s high-stakes standardized tests.
North Carolina’s public schools follow rigorous security rules for giving state exams to students, prompting complaints that the state’s rules have gone too far. In response, state Schools Superintendent Mark Johnson is promising that changes will be coming to testing policies this school year.
“We will be changing policies around how you must administer end-of-year tests based on your feedback and my experience as a 4th grade EOG proctor last year,” Johnson said in a memo sent to elementary school educators last week.
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Johnson did not elaborate on what changes will be made.
As the Charlotte Observer reported, North Carolina schools go through elaborate steps during testing season that cause some teachers to say it feels like their campus is locked down.
Kindergartners stay off playgrounds and eat lunch in their classrooms. Teachers anxiously watch what they say, wear and do as they follow the state’s 226-page testing manual.
Every year, schools beg volunteers to serve as proctors during the exams. The proctors, who have their own 12-page guide from the state, are there to keep an eye on faculty to make sure they’re not breaking rules.
Wake County school board member Lindsay Mahaffey said she was given a notebook full of testing policies when she served as a proctor.
“When you’re proctoring, that’s all you’re allowed to read when you’re there,” Mahaffey said at a board committee meeting this week.