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A commission wants to drop the state required history exam

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A commission wants to drop the state required history exam
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An education commission wants to eliminate one of the state's required exam. As MPB's Ashley Norwood reports, it's in response to a growing concern of how much time students spend on mandatory testing.

There are 8 exams currently required by state law and the Commission on School Accreditation is voting to eliminate one. A testing task force surveyed 10,000 teachers from across the state. An overwhelming majority want to get rid of the U.S. History end-of-course exam.

Heather Westerfield is a teacher at Pearl High School.

"Feel like students and teachers were under a tremendous amount of stress with all the testing. Any way that we might could alleviate that I think would be beneficial. We can get days back on instructional time just by getting rid of one test," said Westerfield."

While more than 70 percent of high school teachers say they want fewer tests, some see it as a double edged sword. During a special meeting Monday, a history teacher from Oxford told the commission if the test goes away he's concerned that so will the importance of history and humanities.

Tim Martin is co-chair of the testing task force. He says 64 percent of districts and administrators responded to a survey about their concerns.

" And the number on issue that was found with administrators was technology-- technology issues with either districts broadband or vendor software. Another issue that came up was the lack of available test capable devices," said Martin.

The commission voted unanimously to accept the recommendation of the task force and send it to the full Board of Education. The board will vote on the recommendation during its September meeting. Ashley Norwood, MPB News.