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President Obama Outlines Plan to Reduce Standardized Testing

President Obama and Education Secretary Arne Duncan are expected to meet with education officials today to outline their plan to reduce the time teachers and students spend on standardized testing.

"When I look back on the great teachers who shaped my life, what I remember isn't the way they prepared me to take a standardized test. What I remember is the way they taught me to believe in myself, to be curious about the world, to take charge of my own learning so that I can reach my full potential," President Obama shared in a video posted on Facebook this weekend.

Students enrolled in public schools in major cities will take nearly 112 mandatory standardized tests between pre-kindergarten and high school graduation, according to a study of 66 school districts released Saturday by the Council of Great City Schools.

As Congress takes measures to write a replacement for the No Child Left Behind Act, President Obama has expressed concerns that most standardized testing is unnecessary and urged education officials to take steps to administer fewer exams by limiting standardized exams to no more than 2 percent of a student's instructional time in the classroom.

''Learning is about so much more than just filling in the right bubble,'' President Obama said in a video posted on Facebook. ''So we're going to work with states, school districts, teachers and parents to make sure that we're not obsessing about testing.''

The White House outlined a series of steps to help educators end assessment that they believe do not benefit students or teachers. The administration suggested the tests should be "worth taking," time-limited and provide a "clearer picture" of whether students are learning.

"The fixation on high-stakes testing hasn't moved the needle on student achievement," Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers said, according to USA Today. "It's a big deal that the president and the secretaries of education—both current and future—are saying that they get it and are pledging to address the fixation on testing in tangible ways."

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