NC Superintendent
Mark Johnson

301 N. Wilmington Street

Raleigh, NC 27601

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© 2018 NC Superintendent Mark Johnson 

Reducing Over -Testing

“Over-testing must stop. We need to have accountability, but we can do that with fewer, better tests and by using new technology to replace tests.”

Reducing Over-Testing

We hear it from students, parents, and educators. Our current education system has too many high-stakes, standardized tests. We can and must do better.

For years, the education system has given our students and teachers only one-size-fits-all, 20th-century tools and strategies. But, that same system now demands 21st-century results. We must work together to transform the education system to better support all teachers and students.

The current system has too many tests layered on by different levels of the education industry. There
are federally required tests, state-required tests, and tests required by local school districts and
individual schools.

We must measure student progress and teacher effectiveness, but we can do that with fewer, better
tests and by using new technology to replace outdated testing methods.


Some of the ways we are attacking the problem of over-testing are:

  • Reducing the number of questions on tests

  • Reducing the time students must sit for tests

  • Changing testing policies to reduce stress at schools around testing time

  • Working with local leaders to reduce the number of tests

  • Pushing to eliminate tests not required by Washington, D.C.

  • Giving students other ways to show progress if they have a bad test day

  • Using the appropriate amount of technology as a tool for students and teachers to personalize learning and eliminate tests


We are working with local superintendents and state leaders to reform the education industry's system of over-testing. In doing so, we can get back the time for teachers to do what they entered the profession to do: teach.


Some of the ways we are transforming our education system so that it better supports students and educators are revolutionary. Some are common sense. All of them require us to hold the education-industrial complex at least as accountable as we hold students and educators. We are doing that, and the future is bright for North Carolina’s public schools.

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