This spring, Oklahoma middle school students who are taking advanced mathematics courses—i.e., Algebra I, Algebra II, or Geometry—will no longer be required to take their grade-level math tests.
The U.S. Department of Education approved the state’s request to eliminate double-testing for these students today.
The announcement is significant because it reflects movement on an idea gaining steam among Washington policymakers, state school chiefs, and even the president: that students should take fewer tests.
The department opened the door to the math testing flexibility late last year, when it issued guidance to states seeking to renew their waivers from the No Child Left Behind Act. More here.
In a statement, Oklahoma’s state superintendent, Joy Hofmeister, explained that until the request was granted, 7th and 8th graders who are taking courses traditionally taught in high school would have had to take both the state’s grade-level exam and an end-of-course assessment. “This double-testing would have penalized those students enrolled in advanced math courses by subjecting them to increased and excessive testing this year,” she said.
The Oklahoma superintendent also recently eliminated field testing for this year’s state writing assessments. Students were going to have to respond to two writing prompts, one of which was for field testing, but will now only respond to one.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Curriculum Matters blog.