By Janet Barresi.
I hear from educators and parents throughout the state about “teaching to the test” and time spent on testing. I agree teachers should spend more time teaching and students should spend less time worrying about tests. But I want to clear up some myths. Out of all the hours required for instruction in a school year – 1,080 hours by state law – less than 1 percent is spent by a student taking state- or federally mandated tests. Other assessments may be given by teachers or required by school districts. Yet, even if we look at the grades that have the most assessments — fifth and eighth —there are only four state or federal tests required: math, reading, writing, science or social studies/U.S. history.