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      Educators pump breaks on PARCC testing

      Students in an Albany classroom.

      Georgia education leaders have pulled out of a consortium with states around the nation in order to make sure local students have a chance at excelling in the classroom.

      The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness of College and Careers (PARCC) program will be used by 21 states across the nation and is set to begin in the 2014- 2015 school year.

      Instead, Georgia is developing its own standards for student testing based off of the common core curriculum for math and English language.

      The PARCC assessment was going to require an astronomical amount of testing on students behalf with two separate windows and ten hours of testing, said Renee Bridges, Dougherty County School System Test Coordinator.

      By opting out of the PARCC program, Georgia will save millions for taxpayers.

      The plan is to make a testing system that suits what Georgia students are studying and only test students once a year.

      The new test will be aligned to the curriculum in such a way that teachers can make sure students receive the lessons they need to progress to the next grade, said R.D. Harter, DCSS Publicist.

      Several schools in Dougherty County are piloting the new program and evaluating each section to see if it could fit students statewide.

      Instead of just being a multiple choice type item, they're going to have to be able to explain how they solved the problem, said Renee Bridges. They're going to have to be able to draw graphs and charts and to rationalize their thought process.

      Officials say the ultimate goal is to prepare each child for college and a career after grade and high school.

      The Georgia testing program will be reviewed by teachers to make sure it is high-quality and rigorous for pupils.

      The testing system is set to begin in the 2014-2015 school year.

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