New laws signed by the governor end standardized testing for science and social studies to lessen pressure on teachers to teach to tests, and perhaps even keep teachers from leaving the profession.
Alshrenthia Cutliff, a popular 6th grade earth science class at Merry Acres Middle School, is in her 15th year of teaching. Cutliff was happy to learn her students won't have to worry about a standardized test in her subject, and glad the pressure is off her to teach to a test.
"However, I do like the fact we won't have the pressure and I can be more creative and I don't have to worry about just testing and go more in depth with what my students learn," she said.
"We should hopefully see a reduction in the number of teachers leaving the profession. A lot of teachers leave for this reason, the tremendous amount of pressure."
Dr. Ufot Inyang, Asst. Dougherty County Superintendent, says while dropping standardized tests in science and social studies for 3rd through 7th grades allows teachers more freedom, he does have concerns. "We don't want to send the wrong message that science and social studies aren't important."
Dr. Inyang says teachers like Ms. Cutliff will have to meet new measures to make sure students are prepared for high school and beyond... a concept this award-winning teacher already grasps.
"Even though we are excited about it, I am excited to hear the news, but I still know I have to work hard and maintain and make sure my students understand and are college and career ready."
The law, which goes into effect July 1st, will also change teacher evaluations. Principals won't be mandated to constantly evaluate high-performing teachers.
Instead, they can spend their time focusing on teachers who need more help in the classroom.
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