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Let districts choose tests, say some on Seattle School Board

Some Seattle School Board members say the state should let districts choose their own standardized tests. They say the state's current test is unfair to low-income students and takes up too much time and too many resources.

The state switched to the so-called Smarter Balanced assessment last year. Students take it in third through eighth and tenth and eleventh grades.

But Seattle School Board member Sue Peters says the district and the nation have reached a tipping point when it comes to testing. She says some testing is necessary, but that students now spend 10 hours taking the Smarter Balanced assessment, in addition to any test prep. And she says the fact that the Smarter Balanced is all computer-based is not fair to low-income students who don't have computers at home.

Peters and fellow Board Member Rick Burke have proposed a resolution that asks the state to let districts choose their own assessments. Peters says that could reverse the movement by parents and students to opt out of state testing.

The Seattle School Board is scheduled to vote on the resolution Tuesday evening. If adopted, it will not likely lead to any immediate change at the state level.

Year started with KUOW: 2008