SD Unified schools to slash standardized tests

Posted at 5:13 PM, May 04, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-04 22:29:38-04

SAN DIEGO - San Diego teachers and schools will gain more control over their classrooms, thanks to a decision made by the San Diego Unified School District.

The district announced Wednesday that it is slashing the amount of standardized tests it issues. It will put a dent in what some parents say is over-testing, with exams still coming from the state and federal governments.

"One parent was saying it feels like my student every day is saying, 'I have another test today, Mom,'" said SDUSD Superintendent Cindy Marten. "'Is it a district test? Is it a state test?'"

The answer will soon likely be no for a district test, as the cuts start next year. District teachers and schools will be able to install their own tests and assessments to gear toward their own students, which Marten said could lead to better grades.

Jack Rowell, whose daughter is a third-grader at Alice Birney Elementary in University Heights, said the plan would work if the teachers are good.

"If they had more power, I would trust them to make better tests," he said. "How do you say, 'OK, Alice Birney does it right, but some other school does it wrong?'"

The district is going to replace its standardized data collection with real-time reporting on student progress to help teachers refine their lesson plans.

Martin said San Diego Unified has several ways to measure performance, and right now she said time spent learning could use a boost.