Less testing in Lee County Schools

Posted at 7:44 PM, Mar 24, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-24 19:44:40-04
FORT MYERS, FLa. -- Every student learns differently from their textbooks and in the classroom. Like Jamie Harris for example, who is studying chemistry and history. "I definitely learn better in a group because you get so many other perspectives. We always get to collaborate on learning and it just really helps and the other classes where we don't do as much group work, I definitely see myself struggling a little bit more."
Harris's appreciation for group learning and projects is the type of learning Lee County Superintendent Gregory Adkins wants to see more of in the District and across Florida. "We've become obsessed with standardized testing in this Country and it's taking our eye off the ball, which is really, what are the students learning ? What do the students really need to know ?"
I asked students how less testing would help them in the classroom. "Less testing as a student would probably help me the most with what I really need to know in life to get by," said Highschool student Connor Bullock. 
Lee County Schools have already significantly reduced the number of mandated District tests in the classroom, from 147 to now zero. A policy students say is relieving their stress. "Put all this unnecessary pressure on yourself. You think, I have to excel, I have to be over all these other people, I have to make myself look good for colleges, I have to do well on these tests and these tests are going to determine my life," Bullock added.
Rather than tests determining the students fate, Adkins wants more emphasis on classroom retention. "By taking the focus off of testing and instead putting it back on learning, I think we can make those experiences better for our kids."