• Marion County teachers fed up with amount of testing for kindergartners

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    MARION COUNTY, Fla. - Educators in Marion County said they're so tied up preparing students for testing, there's no time to teach.

    Marion teachers said students test too much, and now they're rallying to ask the school board to reduce or eliminate all the state-mandated exams.

    One option on the table is letting parents be the ones to pull their children out of tests.

    Teachers Union representative Chris Altobello said, "The amount of testing is taking away from teachers, from teachers ability to properly instruct their kids."

    Union leaders said testing has gotten so out of hand that kindergarteners are being forced to take as many as seven end-of-the-year exams.

    "Kindergartners be blowing bubbles instead of filling them in," Altobello said.

    School board chairman Bobby James said he agrees.

    "There are better ways to access a kindergartner student then giving them all these tests," said James. "The majority of their time is spent on preparing the kids for test and that's not what school is supposed to be about."

    Altobello said the union is working to push school board members to "try and convince the people in Tallahassee that this is not good for Marion County and it's not good for the state of Florida," in order to give teachers and students some relief.

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