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Testing Waivers for Kentucky School Districts of Innovation Wins House Committee Approval

A bill that would modify student assessments in Kentucky public schools has unanimously cleared a House committee.The measure would permit schools participating in the Kentucky Department of Education’sDistricts of Innovationprogram to implement new testing methods to assess student performance.Jefferson County Public Schools Superintendent Donna Hargens testified before the House Education Committee Tuesday morning, saying that alternative assessments won’t be any less rigorous than current ones.“I want you all to know that this will require more from the Districts of Innovation: Additional development for teachers; more time to prepare assessments; more time to conduct authentic performance assessments; and require students to demonstrate mastery,” Hargens says. Earlier: Kentucky Districts of Innovation Could Challenge Standardized TestingThe bill, filed by state Rep. Larry Clark, a Louisville Democrat, would permit those schools to apply for waivers of current testing methods as long as they meet college and career-readiness requirements for students.Seven school districts across the state—including JCPS—participate in the Districts of Innovation program, which was passed in 2012 by the General Assembly to give educators greater flexibility in turning around struggling schools.(Image via Shutterstock)

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