AR Testing Change?

August 11, 2003 -- posted at 7:07 a.m. CDT

LITTLE ROCK, Ark.  -- The state Board of Education today is scheduled to vote on whether to shift away from national standardized tests. In the past, the state has used the Stanford Achievement Tests to track student and school progress.

With a vote today, Arkansas could switch to the Arkansas Benchmark Exam, which is touted as the way to help the state comply with the federal ``No Child Left Behind'' act.

Opponents of the switch say Arkansas should compare its children and schools to those across the nation and that doing so would make it easier to adjust curricula as necessary. The state says federal law requires that testing be aligned with each state's academic standards.

It also says a separate test compiled with statewide results will let Arkansas know how it stacks up with the rest of the country. Arkansas has 450-thousand public school students.

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