Marlboro school board to comply with test requirements

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(Host) The Marlboro school board says it wants to “keep the conversation going” with the state on the No Child Left Behind Act. The board voted last year not to comply with yearly tests mandated by the new federal school assessment law. Those tests are scheduled to begin in the school year that starts next fall. Board members say they still oppose a one-size fits-all method of assessing a school’s success or failure.

But they’ve agreed to cooperate with a round of state-generated pilot tests to be given later this month. Marlboro Board member Lauren Poster says she disagrees with the principles behind the tests.

(Poster) “But I also think that if we engage in a battle, that is going to drain us also and will take away from what we will be able to give these kids this year. I don’t want us to make a decision that takes our attention so much away from what we are really here for- that we’re all distracted, we’re all tired, we’re all anxious and we’re not able to be the best community of educators that we can be.”

(Host) The decision follows two meetings between the Marlboro board and state Education Commissioner Richard Cate. In the first meeting Cate said he wouldn’t allow “a giant hammer” to fall on any Vermont school because of federal test results. The commissioner was also sympathetic to the Marlboro school’s concerns about releasing student information to a Web-based program. Board members called for the commissioner to spell out his position on implementing the law in a formal statement.

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