BRADENTON -- The constant testing of Florida students dominated discussion Thursday at a Manatee County School District forum.
"In my opinion, it's out of control," said Manatee County School Board Chairman Bob Gause.
Diana Greene, deputy superintendent of operations, powered through a 40-minute presentation in the media center at Southeast High School, detailing tests students must take and the toll it exacts on students, teachers and parents.
Greene said students will be testing every day from March, when state tests begin, through May.
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"We have some form of assessments probably happening every day," Greene said. "It doesn't involve all children but it's starting to accumulate."
This is the first year students take assessments tied to the Florida State Standards, a modification of the controversial Common Core, which is a national set of standards prescribing what students should know at each grade level. The state also requires the district to offer end-of-course exams for every course not covered by a state assessment. The district also must administer national and state field tests.
All the testing leaves little room for local exams and has overwhelmed students, teachers and parents, Greene said. At this point, the district is encouraging parents to take their concerns to lawmakers requesting legislative relief.
"The people who control most of it are our legislators," Gause said. "They'll listen better if the parents and the people in the community and the business leaders all start to send the same voice."
The district has already signed on to an action plan by the Central Florida Public School Board Coalition -- of which the district is a member -- proposing specific actions to provide relief to teachers and students this year.
In addition to testing, Gause brought up the challenge the district faces in replacing Greene, who is a finalist for at least two superintendent jobs.
"Our deputy superintendent at some point is going to be leaving us," Gause said. "I have no doubt she's going to get one of those spots. And she deserves it."
Greene has declined to speak publicly about her job applications.
Audience questions focused on who controls the tests, where tests come from and how much time educators have to teach.
"When you add more assessment, you take away time for teaching," Superintendent Rick Mills said. "There needs to be a good balance. That's way out of balance right now."
Meghin Delaney, education reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7081. Follow her on Twitter @MeghinDelaney.