The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK


February 28, 2014

Parents, teachers in Oklahoma worried about amount of testing done

ENID, Okla. — Much has been made lately about the amount of testing Oklahoma students are required to do in school.

Many parents and instructors have spoken out against the amount of testing required, while the office of Janet Barresi, state superintendent of public instruction, says those concerns are overblown.

At a meeting earlier this week on the state of education in Oklahoma, Doug Stafford, principal of Emerson Middle School, spoke as both a school principal and a parent.

His sixth-grade students spend about 27 hours being tested as per requirements. Seventh-graders spend about 18 hours being tested, and eighth-graders spend 17 hours being tested. By the time all those hours of being prepared for tests and being tested are added up, middle school students lost 92 hours of time that might have been spent on instruction, Stafford said, and this is being done with less money per student in state funding.

However, Oklahoma State Department of Education said the time students are required to test is much less:

• Grades 5 and 8 writing, approximately 90 minutes.

• Grades 3, 4 and 5 mathematics, 85-105 minutes.

• Grades 3, 4 and 5 reading, approximately 120-140 minutes.

• Grade 5 science or social studies, 105-125 minutes.

• Grades 6, 7 and 8 mathematics, 80-100 minutes.

• Grades 6, 7 and 8 reading, 110-125 minutes.

• Grades 7 geography, 90-110 minutes.

• Grade 8 science or U.S. history, 90-110 minutes.

• EOI algebra I, algebra II, geometry, biology I or U.S. history, 140 minutes each.

• EOI English II, 215 minutes.

• EOI English III, 280 minutes.

We hope, regardless of the time involved for testing, that education officials at all levels don’t forget the primary function of school: to teach students to succeed in today’s world.

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