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Debate Rages Over How Many Hours Students Should Be Tested Each Year

Even as public school systems in Maryland and other states prepare to give longer and more challenging standardized tests this spring, a national debate has erupted over just how many hours students should be tested in a year.

Teachers unions deride the growing emphasis on testing as a mania that is hijacking American education. In Florida, parents are rebelling against new tests and threatening to keep their children out of testing. And national education leaders, who for years believed schools would improve if they were held accountable for test scores, are looking at whether testing has become too onerous.

“I think what you are seeing across the country is this backlash against state testing,” said Baltimore County Schools Superintendent Dallas Dance, who believes there may be moves in coming years to reduce federally mandated testing.