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Two Republican lawmakers want to put a moratorium on standardized testing for students in second grade or lower, arguing youngsters are over-tested and losing enthusiasm for school.

Senate Minority Leader J.B. Jennings, a Baltimore County Republican, and Harford County Del. Haven N. Shoemaker Jr. say their legislation would give teachers more time to help students foster a love of learning and forgo testing that they say has minimal value at a young age.

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"It takes the excitement out of school," Jennings said. "They're teaching to the test. That's where they're spending their time. They're not teaching to the issues."

Democrats Del. Eric D. Ebersole, a Howard County teacher, and Sen. Paul G. Pinsky of Prince George's County introduced a separate bill that would study whether Maryland's students take so many tests that it impedes their ability to learn.

The bills come as the state transitions from its own standardized testing, the Maryland School Assessment, to a new system known by the acronym PARCC, which was developed by a consortium of several states.

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