The South-Western Board of Education and the district's teachers union, the South-Western Education Association, are calling for relief from excessive standardized testing.

The South-Western Board of Education and the district's teachers union, the South-Western Education Association, are calling for relief from excessive standardized testing.

They ask that state and federal officials to reexamine what many believe has become an over-emphasis on standardized testing.

The school board on April 13 unanimously approved the "Time2Learn" resolution. It calls for an end to the "overuse of standardized testing" and supports "locally developed, authentic assessments as drivers of instruction."

Teachers are concerned about the classroom effects of excess testing, so the teachers union joined the school board in adopting the resolution, its leaders said.

The measure asks state officials to reexamine how public schools are held accountable and to develop a system "based on multiple forms of evidence that does not require extensive standardized testing, more accurately reflects the broad range of student learning and is used to support students and improve schools."

Federal lawmakers are asked to overhaul the No Child Left Behind Act and reduce the testing mandate that has been placed on schools.

"We're not calling for an end to all standardized testing," South-Western board member Lee Schreiner said. "There is a need for it. But enough is enough. Common sense can still prevail."

What is needed is a balance and logic to the amount of standardized testing that allows teachers to spend more time to actually teach their students, he said.

In a "perfect world," local districts would have more control over the assessment of students, Schreiner said.

From the teachers' standpoint, "Our main concern is the amount of time the administering of standardized tests are taking from instruction," SWEA President Rolla Beach said.

Accountability is important "for students, for teachers and for schools," he said, but it needs to be reasonable.

"Students have come to think of school not so much as a learning place, but as a testing place," Beach said.

Schreiner said resolutions such as the Time2Learn measure may not have much impact, "but it is important we make a statement."