Bill would limit school districts to 5 state testing days per year

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SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – Standardized testing has always been a big back and forth in New Mexico. Now, one lawmaker wants to limit the number of days students spend testing.

This bill would keep the  number of days per semester that students have their heads buried in standardized tests down to five.

“We need to make sure that teachers can really do a good job and not have to be evaluated by how many tests and how well their students are testing also,” said Rep. Joanne Ferrary.

The bill comes from Rep. Joanne Ferrary, a Democrat from Las Cruces. It states students cannot be subjected to more than five days of required statewide assessments in the fall and spring semesters.

Rep. Ferrary said she was inspired by students and teachers in her community who were distressed over standardized testing. The bill would also limit the number of tests the students take to just one per day. For example, no PARCC test in the morning and a high school proficiency test in the afternoon.

KRQE News 13 asked the Public Education Department about the bill.

“This administration is absolutely committed to reducing testing time,” Hanna Skandera, Public Education Department Secretary, said.

But Secretary Skandera said the PED believes individual districts should make the call on testing days, rather than being restricted by law. For that reason, the PED does not support the bill, meaning the governor doesn’t either.

A nearly identical bill to was introduced during the 2015 session, but it died in committee.

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