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Frisco Schools Ditching Final Exams

FRISCO (AP) – Final examinations will be a thing of the past for one suburban Dallas school district after administrators decided students were simply taking too many tests, leaving teachers with less time to actually teach anything.

The Frisco Independent School District announced Wednesday that it would dispense with finals for its more than 37,000 students — especially at its four high schools.

Previously, the final examination schedule was a two-week process consisting of four days of review and four days of testing, said Kenny Chandler, district director of school improvement.

In recent years, more time has been taken up by the addition of standardized state testing. District officials said the addition of those tests, along with advance placement, college placement and other exams, created the need to recover instruction days.

With all of the examinations administered to students, “We do not need to add to that any more than is necessary,” Chandler said in a district statement issued Wednesday. “We believe that preserving instructional time is the most important thing we can do.”

Chandler also said district officials will continue to examine many of the district-level assessments administered to students to weigh their value to teaching and student learning. If officials see no benefit, those tests, too, will be jettisoned.

“You don’t fatten a pig by weighing it,” Chandler said, quoting an axiom. “We value assessments and tests to provide feedback to students and parents, to gauge academic mastery and progress and to guide our instructional decision. But we must do some things differently to protect classroom learning time.”

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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