Teachers Testify About Too Much Testing

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Baltimore Teachers Union members Sarah Martin and Caroline Schmidt testified in Annapolis before the Education, Health & Environmental Affairs Committee about the proliferation of standardized testing. They were there in support of Senate Bill 407 put forth by Sen. Roger Manno. The teachers made a point to dramatize how the number of hours demanded for standardized tests works against the educational needs of Baltimore City students.

Martin was adamant in her plea for less testing time explaining how it takes valuable time away from teaching her students at Mt. Washington Middle School. She also noted that as a social studies teacher, missing out on lessons because of excessive testing is a violation of her students civil rights to know the history of their country.

Schmidt, who Sen. Pinsky recognized from her earlier testimony before the committee, showed her visible frustration with the amount of testing in school. She told the story of the school librarian at Digital Harbor High School who has decided to retire because he feels he can not adequately serve the students because the media center is too frequently used for testing.

There were some sympathizers among the Senators on the committee, but it remains to be seen if they will be willing to take action on the bill calling for capping standardized testing time to two percent (2%) of class time.