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Maryland House OKs bill limiting school testing

The Maryland House of Delegates approved a bill limiting the hours spent on testing in schools.

The Maryland House of Delegates approved a bill Tuesday that would limit the amount of time school districts can spend on testing.

The Less Testing, More Learning Act sailed through with minimal debate on a 139-0 vote.

The bill would limit schools to spending 2 percent of classroom time on tests that are required by the federal government, the state or the school district, including standardized tests. Tests and quizzes developed by individual teachers are not included in the 2 percent cap.

The 2 percent limit equates to about 21.6 hours per year in elementary and middle schools and 23.6 hours in high schools, according to the Maryland State Education Association, which has been pushing for the bill.

Advocates are hopeful that they'll also be able to get the bill through the Senate, where 31 of 47 members are cosponsors. The bill is currently in the Senate Education, Health and Environmental Affairs Committee.

A similar bill last year was passed by the House but died in the Senate in the last few weeks of the 90-day General Assembly session.

Gov. Larry Hogan has previously expressed concern that students are subject to too much testing in school.

pwood@baltsun.com

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