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Virginia To Consider Early Standardized Testing

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Fairfax County is considering allowing specific students to take standardized English or math tests early.
J. Durham
Fairfax County is considering allowing specific students to take standardized English or math tests early.

Fairfax County is one of the five districts that are seeking the waivers, which would allow teachers and principals to select specific students to take English or math tests early. It would also allow students to take the test more than once.

"Those that pass it can move on and don't need to keep drilling and prepping," says Virginia Board of Education member Rob Krupicka. "Those that don't can be given specialized instruction to make sure they shore up the places where they were deficient on the test."

Alexandria School Board Chairwoman Sheryl Gorsuch says that approach might cause more problems than it fixes. She says schools should spend more time making sure the curriculum encourages critical thinking and problem solving throughout the year, not just after the test is completed.

"There's concerns about tracking and how teachers would handle a class that was mixed with some students who have passed while others who have not passed the test," says Gorsuch.

The five superintendents are set to appear before state School Board members on Wednesday.

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