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Carvalho In DC For School Testing Discussion

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) - Miami-Dade Public Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho is Washington DC where he's taking part in a policy discussion on school testing.

The Obama administration is meeting with teachers and school officials Monday to work on reducing time spent on tests for students across the country.

"As a nation, we will not assess our way to academic excellence. That's clear," said Carvalho. "We need to shift away quantitative analysis of how much exams we put before kids, and over to a qualitative conversation about the efficacy toward teaching and learning these assessments actually provide us."

The administration has acknowledged that it has gone to far in pushing for standardized tests in schools and is now urging them to pull back.

"I also hear from parents who, rightly, worry about too much testing, and from teachers who feel so much pressure to teach to a test that it takes the joy out of teaching and learning," said President Barack Obama in a video posted on Facebook.

President Obama would like to see testing capped at two-percent of classroom time.

Carvalho said he's already cut more than 300 assessment exams in the district.

"Last spring we decided to begin the school year by decommissioning tests generated at the district level for the purpose of generating benchmark data. Simply reducing those assessments restore 260 minutes of teaching time," said Carvalho. "Our kids will learn and perform if teachers teach them, if we supervise them. A certain level of testing is important, but over testing is harmful to kids."

The Council of the Great City Schools said results of its two year study showed, on average, students spent between 20 and 25 hours taking standardized tests during the school year. They recommend keeping the "current yearly tests in core subjects" but eliminating tests that are either redundant or low quality.

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