Lee County School Board holds special meeting about high-stakes testing

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LEE COUNTY, Fla.- High-stakes testing is back in the spotlight. Monday night, Lee County School Board members talked about how to get rid of some of those controversial tests.  They want to get the state involved in the effort, and that starts by figuring out what should go in a bill.

In August, the Lee County School Board made history for opting out, then opting back in to state-mandated testing.

This time, Superintendent Dr. Nancy Graham wants to remove some of the controversial tests with the help of local legislators.  Lobbyist Bob Cerra is working with the district to do so. A school board decision Wednesday night could transform into a  local bill.”The basic planks are to reduce the amount of testing to increase instructional time, and to reduce the high stakes nature of the testing,” Cerra explained.Some parents like Tess Brennan worry taking this to the legislature isn’t going to be enough.

“Sometimes it feels like we are being listened to, then when we see something said at another venue? It sounds like we are just being appeased. We are not up for being appeased.
We’re up for fighting for our students,” she said.

But School Board member Steve Teuber tells WINK News over the phone he believes this is a step in the right direction. “They are going to increase the testing that we have now at the state level. It is going to be increased in the new year. We want to make sure they don’t do that. And roll back some of the tests they put in last year,” he said.

If a bill is drafted it first has to get sponsored before moving forward.

Superintendent Dr. Nancy Graham is recommending a reduction in the overall amount of state-mandated tests and
eliminating high-stakes penalties for students and schools for no less than two years while new state tests are fully vetted.
The Board will vote Wednesday night.

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