Wyoming Superintendent of Public Instruction Jillian Balow agrees with recommendations made by a state task force that urges alternatives to the PAWS (Proficiency Assessment of Wyoming Students) test as a way to judge student learning.

Balow says assessments made in the classroom and at the district level are a better gauge than what she calls a ''high stakes" standardized test like PAWS. She says the state has been putting "all our money and all our energy into thinking about this huge standardized test''.

She says it's important to consider teacher input and other factors in assessing student learning, rather than simply using one test as the final word on academic progress. Balow says she also agrees with the task force recommendation that no more than 1 percent of students' classroom time be dedicated to standardized testing.

Balow says teachers are judging student learning every day and offer a better guide to what kids are learning in school than PAWS and similar tests.

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