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Students, parents and teachers stress over NECAP exams

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 13, 2010 11:57 AM

The volume of standardized testing has doubled and possibly tripled since the federal No Child Left Behind law was introduced 10 years ago, The Providence Journal reports.

In October the northeast states are dominated by the New England Common Assessment Program (NECAP), which is an exam that tests what students know in math, English and writing.

However, experts are suggesting that while No Child Left Behind had good intentions, the consequences of schools and districts being classified as "low performing" could result in a state takeover. Many states are making the NECAP a requirement for graduation, and juniors at Rhode Island schools have to score at least partially proficient if they want to graduate in 2012.

The NECAP defines students who are partially proficient as those who demonstrate gaps in prerequisite knowledge and skills needed at the current grade level.

More schools are attempting to alleviate the stress both students and parents feel during this time of the year. Teachers at one school have replicated the testing conditions to help students get comfortable with the format. The test results become part of their permanent transcript with students receiving extra credit on the subjects they score proficient in.

According to the Department of Education, the No Child Left Behind law was enacted in 2001 to hold schools accountable for graduation rates. Furthermore, the bill states that schools must test students from third to eighth grade in reading and mathematics annually, and students must reach proficiency within 12 years.