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MDCPS Superintendent in DC to Discuss School Testing

Miami-Dade County Public Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho is in Washington, D.C. Monday for a meeting with President Obama on the subject of student testing.

Before heading to D.C., Carvalho told NBC 6 that last year alone, MDCPS decommissioned roughly 24 exams at the beginning of the year. The move returned more than 200 minutes of teaching time back to instructors, Carvalho says.

This year, close to 300 end-of-course assessments were cut.

Carvalho has been vocal about overtesting in public schools. He penned an op-ed for the Miami Herald outlining reforms for the state's testing standards.

“There is a difference between true and reasonable assessment, and unreasonable over-testing, and that is the key here,” Carvalho said, emphasizing that assessment tests, in his view, are a useful tool when they're fair.

The Obama administration agrees with much of Carvalho's sentiments. In a video released on Facebook Saturday, President Obama addressed the need for smarter ways to measure school progress -- naturally, in the form of a pop quiz.

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If our kids had more free time at school, what would you want them to do with it? A) Learn to play a musical...

Posted by The White House on Saturday, October 24, 2015

"We're going to work with states, schools, teachers and parents to make sure that we're not obsessing about testing," President Obama said. "To make sure that our kids are enjoying learning. That our teachers are able to operate with creativity. To make sure that we are preparing our kids for a lifetime of success."

Carvalho joined Education Secretary Arne Duncan and other school officials from across the country for a press conference on findings from a two-year comprehensive study on school testing. Believed to be the most comprehensive study to date to determine the effectiveness of mandatory school testing, the study surveyed 66 urban school systems - including Miami-Dade - and lays out the initial groundwork to address those findings.

More details on the White House plan are expected in January.

For more information, visit WH.gov/education.

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