As the state Department of Public Instruction recommends local school districts reduce testing, state-mandated testing is being reviewed, too.

Baesler's state assessment task force recently concluded its work, deciding the state needs to reduce the amount of time students sit for standardized federal and state tests.

The state will administer Smarter Balanced assessments this spring, but after that the state will request bids for a different assessment to be delivered in 2018.

The ACT test also will be examined. In grade 11, students spend 13 hours doing the ACT test and state assessments. Under the federal Every Student Succeeds Act, signed into law last December, each state will be allowed to decide whether they want a college entrance exam like the ACT to fulfill its state assessment requirement.

“As we’re writing our new state accountability plan, that’s one of the questions we’re going to be asking our educators," said state superintendent Kirsten Baesler said. “I think we’ll have a lot of districts interested in doing that. We’ll be able to correct one of the grade levels that is seeing a large number of (testing) hours.”

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(Reach Blair Emerson at 701-250-8251 or Blair.Emerson@bismarcktribune.com)

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