Strong parent backing for standardized tests

Most parents, 93 percent, say standardized exams should be used to measure how students are doing in school, according to results of a poll by The Associated Press and the NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.

A majority, 75 percent, said assessments are a reliable measure of students' skills and 69 percent said exams are a good way to track schools' effectiveness. Nearly three-fourths of those polled said it should be easier to fire ineffective teachers, but many also voiced support for district funds being spent to help new teachers.

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