North Carolina moves to eliminate more than 20 standardized tests for students
© Getty Images

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper (D) signed legislation Thursday paving the way for more than 20 state exams to be eliminated, in addition to making other changes to standardized testing across the state.

The Testing Reduction Act cuts the number of state and local standardized tests in schools by ending the North Carolina Final Exam, which covers 29 classes ranging from social studies for students in the fourth grade through the eighth grade, to pre-calculus and American history in high schools, according to the North Carolina Public Schools website.

"North Carolina needs to be able to assess how our schools are performing and how well students are learning,” Cooper said in a Thursday statement. “A reasonable assessment system that gives teachers and parents accurate information without sacrificing accountability should help children learn without over testing."

ADVERTISEMENT

The changes to state testing will go into effect for the 2020-2021 school year. 

The measure will also require school districts to reduce the number of standardized tests they administer if students spend more time on those than state exams. It also blocks school districts from requiring students to do a “high school graduation project,” unless schools can commit to providing $75 to reimburse students.

The project involves students doing research and writing a paper, according to The Raleigh News & Observer.  

The law also mandates a study of the N.C. Personalized Assessment Tool, a new initiative the state is testing over the next five years to replace end-of-grade assessments in reading and math classes for students who are in the third grade through the eighth grade. It will replace a long end-of-grade exam with three shorter tests in each subject throughout the school year, according to the Raleigh News & Observer.   

The legislation was originally passed by the state House and Senate late last month.