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Class Notes: Hall schools drop ITBS skills test
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After years of administering it, Hall County Schools has opted out of the Iowa Test of Basic Skills following a unanimous vote from the board Monday night.

By not giving the test next year, the system will save about $40,000.

“We have an awful hard time rationalizing why we’re spending the equivalent of a teacher’s salary on giving this test,” Superintendent Will Schofield said.

The following year would have cost the system around $300,000 because of new testing equipment.

Schofield said he was an adamant supporter of the test because of its usefulness in comparing systems on a national scale.

But since the county is only giving it to third-, fifth- and eighth-graders, its usefulness had run its course.

“We just couldn’t find the rationale and the support for giving the test any more,” he said.

The removal of the test will free up three days for the three grade levels.

“The ITBS certainly has a budget factor, but the biggest issue is we’re having less and less days of school and we’re spending too much time testing and not enough time teaching,” Schofield said.

The ITBS has been used for more than eight decades, but with the Criterion-Referenced Competency Test and the End of Course Test, the system felt there was no need for more standardized testing.

“We hear from the community we just test too much,” said Nath Morris, board chairman. “I think it’s a good thing (to stop giving the ITBS).”


NGCSU names new leaders

The Mike Cottrell School of Business at North Georgia College & State University will be under new leadership as of July 1.

The school announced that Donna Mayo has accepted the position of dean of the college, as well as a professor of marketing.

She is currently serving as the business school dean at Dalton State College.

Richard Oates was serving as the interim dean.

North Georgia also named Sherman R. Day, a former president of the university, as executive director of University Center | GA 400, an instructional center under joint development by North Georgia and Gainesville State College.

Day was president of North Georgia from 1996 to 1999. He is coming out of retirement to run the new facility in Cumming.

The center, slated to open in the fall, will offer various two- and four-year undergraduate degrees, as well as graduate degrees and professional development opportunities.

“As our institutions seek to meet the growing need for higher education in the Northeast Georgia region, Sherm Day brings vast administrative experience and knowledge to this important position,” said Bonita C. Jacobs, president of North Georgia. “With our pending consolidation with Gainesville State College, University Center | GA 400 may grow more quickly than originally planned in terms of programs available, and he is the perfect person to lead this effort.”

Lee Johnson covers education issues for The Times. Share your thoughts, news tips and questions with him:

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