FORT MYERS, Fla.- The new Lee County School District superintendent is getting to work in a big way.
In his first full meeting, Dr. Greg Adkins made an important change to student testing, one of the most controversial issues facing students and parents.
“It was very busy, it was overwhelming, daunting at times, there is so much work to do, but I am forward to it,” said Adkins describing his first few days in office.
Adkins is already shaking up the amount of time students spend taking exams.
“It affects every single grade level in the district,” he said.
Adkins eliminated all district-required tests which were only used for progress monitoring. Now, children will only be required to take state-mandated, high-stakes exams.
“He actually gutted everything that we currently had in there for the district and he is actually going to revisit the progression of testing to see if we can actually modify that even more,” said board member Steven Teuber.
The changes are drastic. A first grader will spent two and a half hours a school year taking tests, a decrease from the previous six hours. The amount of time a ninth grade student will spend testing was also lowered from 19 hours to 13 hours.
“I think one of the things we really need to focus on, is really getting to what is important, which is the kids, and teaching the kids,” said Adkins.
School board members say they stand behind Adkins and feel he is the one to bring stability to a district in a negative spotlight and steer it in the right direction.
“He came in and he immediately started addressing concerns,” said board member Jeanne Dozier.