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Senate Votes to Require States to Set Limit on Time Spent Testing

July 15, 2015

On July 14, 2015, the Senate passed by voice vote a bill sponsored by Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO) requiring states to establish a limit on the maximum total time students are to spend taking standardized tests– for ESEA or otherwise; to represent that limit as a percentage of instructional time, and to notify parents once the percentage of testing time has been used up:

SA 2210. Mr. BENNET submitted an amendment intended to be proposed to amendment SA 2089 submitted by Mr. Alexander (for himself and Mrs. Murray) to the bill S. 1177, to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 to ensure that every child achieves; which was ordered to lie on the table; as follows:

On page 52, between lines 9 and 10, insert the following:

“(L) Limitation on assessment time.—

“(i) In general.–As a condition of receiving an allocation under this part for any fiscal year, each State shall—

“(I) set a limit on the aggregate amount of time devoted to the administration of assessments (including assessments adopted pursuant to this subsection, other assessments rquired by the State, and assessments required districtwide by the local educational agency) for each grade, expressed as a percentage of annual instructional hours; and

“(II) ensure that each local educational agency in the State will notify the parents of each student attending any school in the local educational agency, on an annual basis, whenever the limitation described in subclause (I) is exceeded.

“(ii) Children with disabilities and English learners.—

Nothing in clause

(i) shall be construed to supersede the requirements of Federal law relating to assessments that apply specifically to children with disabilities or English learners.

Note that according to the amendment, a state’s setting this maximum time that students spend taking standardized tests is a condition of receiving Title I funding.

Note also that students with disabilities and English language learners often have extended time. This amendment does not override time modifications made for these students.

bubble test


Schneider is a southern Louisiana native, career teacher, trained researcher, and author of the ed reform whistle blower, A Chronicle of Echoes: Who’s Who In the Implosion of American Public Education.

She also has a second book, Common Core Dilemma: Who Owns Our Schools?, newly published on June 12, 2015.

both books


  1. It’s a shame that they only have to tell the parents when the time allowed is exceeded. Does suggest that the parents do not get told what that allowed time actually is, or the percentage…

    • According to the amendment, no language is included regarding telling parents the initial time set.

  2. Tracy permalink

    This still solves nothing. What they are not addressing is the fact that these tests are being used to rate or grade our teachers which means that no matter how much time the children spend taking these worthless tests they will learn much less in the classroom during the school year because teachers will continue to teach only what is on these tests in an effort to save their jobs.

  3. Reblogged this on stopcommoncorenys.

  4. Mary Cay Rojtas-Milliner permalink

    So, what does this actually mean? Is it actually worth anything — or just polite lip service? I vote for lip service.

  5. And my state, New Mexico, lies about the amount of time spent testing. Not sure how they do their math, but they claim to have reduced the amount of time spent this year on tests, when ALL teachers know it increased. So, this amendment seems pretty pointless.

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