school testing

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The Kentucky Department of Education is hosting town hall meetings as the state begins developing a new accountability system. Congress recently reauthorized the Every Student Succeeds Act, which shifts much of the responsibility for schools from the federal government to the state. 

It has been a high-stakes year for high-stakes standardized tests.

The debate over renewing the big federal education law turned, in part, on whether annual testing would remain a federal mandate. Republicans initially said no, Democrats said yes. Ultimately the overhaul passed with tests still in place.

"In some places, tests — and preparation for them — are dominating the calendar and culture of schools and causing undue stress for students and educators."

The quote comes not from an angry parent or firebrand school leader but from Education Secretary Arne Duncan. Of course, he's the guy currently in charge of a big chunk of those tests: the No Child Left Behind requirement of annual standardized testing in grades 3-8, plus once during grades 10-12.

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A bill that would modify student assessments in Kentucky public schools has unanimously cleared a House committee.

The measure would permit schools under the Kentucky Department of Education’s Districts of Innovation plan to implement new testing methods to assess student performance. 

  While Kentucky has already celebrated a record graduation rate for high schools and improved number of students who are college and career ready, Education Commissioner Terry Holliday says there are still areas of concern. The Department of Education released results of its accountability system Friday and Holliday says the focus now is on math.