Plan To Overhaul Testing For KY Students Passes The Senate

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - The state Senate has approved a bill that
would overhaul Kentucky's methods for testing student achievement.
The plan calls for ending the Commonwealth Accountability Testing System. That divisiveness of the proposal was reflected in the Senate's 22-15 party-line vote on Friday. The measure now goes to the House for consideration.
House Speaker Jody Richards said he doesn't expect the measure to pass his chamber. And Gov. Steve Beshear has said he will veto the bill if it passes both chambers.
Proponents of the Senate plan say current testing methods force
teachers to spend too much classroom time to prepare for the tests.
The testing system was a key part of the 1990 Kentucky Education
Reform Act.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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  • by Anonymous on Mar 7, 2008 at 03:26 PM
    I'm not saying that teachers should not be held accountable for teaching basic skills for each grade level but there should be some room for teachers to add their own touch to what they teach. I am currently going to college to be a teacher and I also grew up taking the pointless CATS tests that achieve nothing and only cause students to hate school. I also grew up doing the ridiculous portfolios that also achieved nothing I received distinguished on some writings and proficient on others and still was completely lost when I took college English 100. KY would be better off if this practice of torturing students with endless tests throughout their schooling was put to an end. And if Steve Beshear vetoes this bill he will lose my support and probably many others as well. Teachers and school administrators should be allowed to decide how best to evaluate their student's progress.
  • by Anonymous on Mar 7, 2008 at 03:15 PM
    I was a student in Ky schools my entire life and started school in 1990 so I know that CATS testing achieves nothing for the students and impedes learning instead of measuring progress. The teachers and schools are forced to put too much pressure on students to be distinguished and some students may never even reach proficient no matter how hard they or their educators try. If CATS tests and Portfolios were taken away we would see much better progress in schools and everything would improve both for students and teachers. As of right now students in KY schools are not there to learn they are there to memorize things for the CATS test and rewrite a paper fifty times only to still achieve a proficient or lower by the portfolio standards. If this were removed from schools there would actually be room for learning and putting materials in the curriculum that would interest kids instead of making them want to quit school.
  • by Trey on Mar 7, 2008 at 01:59 PM
    I think it will save about 10million dollars. We have comletely gone overboard with this testing. The students are not learning the basic they are learning how to take the CATS test. In the long run what have they really learned.
  • by Fred Location: Lexington on Mar 7, 2008 at 01:00 PM
    Kudos to the Democrats for keeping an open mind....
  • by Crystal Location: Danville on Mar 7, 2008 at 12:12 PM
    I agree that the testing methods need to be overhauled... actually it would be better if they discontinued it all together. Too much prep work for teachers and way to much pressure on students to be "distinguished" writers. There is far too much emphasis on how much a student writes to answer a prompt on the test or within a portfolio writing assignment, instead of proper spelling or basic mathematics. No one cares that our children are going through school not being able to speak or spell properly, add or subtract. The testing was ridiculous back in the 90's and even more so now. I have experienced the testing as a student and my question is - what good do they do? Only thing I can see that the testing proves is that our children are flunking the basics and making me appreciate the basics that were drilled into me before KERA came into existence.
  • by teacher Location: Lexington on Mar 7, 2008 at 11:52 AM
    Teachers are tired of teaching kids how to take tests. Everything revolves around it. Kids can't be creative and common sense thinkers because they have to spend all of their time giving their answers in the correct format. It's very frustrating to watch kids get burnt out and feel tortured by the tests.


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