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Smarter And Less Testing Needed, Says NC Superintendent

NC Superintendent of Public Instruction Mark Johnson calls for less testing in visit to Charlotte
Gwendolyn Glenn/WFAE
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NC Superintendent of Public Instruction Mark Johnson calls for less testing in visit to Charlotte

In a visit to Charlotte Friday, the state’s new School Superintendent Mark Johnson says he looks forward to revamping student testing, which is one of his top priorities. He says a big flaw in testing is that results are not available in a timely manner where teachers can use them to improve student instruction. Johnson says the Every Student Succeeds Act, which replaced No Child Left Behind and gives states more leeway in education policy, offers the state the opportunity to implement better testing requirements.

NC Superintendent Mark Johnson talks to reporters at West Charlotte High School. He taught earth science at the school for two years.
Gwendolyn Glenn
/
NC Superintendent Mark Johnson talks to reporters at West Charlotte High School. He taught earth science at the school for two years.

I’d like to see us teach more and test less,” Johnson said. “What we gained from testing is a great amount of data to track our students and their success but we have all acknowledged that we are testing too much. So we will take the opportunity ahead of us and come up with a plan that works best for North Carolina.”

Johnson says testing shouldn’t just be done at the end of the school year to see how teachers are performing. He says high-stakes testing is stressful for students, parents, teachers, and administrators. He says he will not push for legislation that gets rid of the A-F grading of schools.

Johnson’s visit to Charlotte included an early morning ride on a school bus as part of bus drivers’ appreciation day. He met with city leaders at the Chamber of Commerce and visited West Charlotte High, where he taught earth science for two years through Teach for America.

Copyright 2017 WFAE

Gwendolyn is an award-winning journalist who has covered a broad range of stories on the local and national levels. Her experience includes producing on-air reports for National Public Radio and she worked full-time as a producer for NPR’s All Things Considered news program for five years. She worked for several years as an on-air contract reporter for CNN in Atlanta and worked in print as a reporter for the Baltimore Sun Media Group, The Washington Post and covered Congress and various federal agencies for the Daily Environment Report and Real Estate Finance Today. Glenn has won awards for her reports from the Maryland-DC-Delaware Press Association, SNA and the first-place radio award from the National Association of Black Journalists.
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