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Former Teacher Tester Favors Fewer Tests

Sen. Jon Tester (D) Montana
Courtesy photo

Senator Jon Tester wants to reduce the number of student tests required by the federal No Child Left Behind Act. Montana school superintendent, Denise Juneau, supports the proposal.

  Students now are required to take annual tests in reading and math in grades 3 through 8 and once in high school.

Tester, himself a former school teacher, says his proposal would replace those annual requirements under No Child Left Behind with fewer tests.

"One in elementary, one in middle school and one in high school," explained Tester. "States, and more importantly, at the school board level, they can determine if they want to do more than that to have further assessments. My proposal doesn't limit the number of overall testings required, except for those required by the federal government."

Superintendent Juneau calls that a much better process.

She's also glad Congress seems serious about updating the No Child Left Behind Act.

"We are so overdue for reauthorization of No Child Left Behind," said Juneau. "Any kind of conversation that happens at the congressional level is a positive step for us. We really do need to come up with a more up-to-date, a more state friendly, and of course a more district friendly federal law." 

The latest attempt to offer the proposal as an amendment to the U.S. Senate's ongoing effort to update No Child Left Behind won a senate committee's unanimous approval last week.

Edward O'Brien is Montana Public Radio's Associate News Director.
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