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Mo. suspends annual test because of budget crunch

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(Flickr Creative Commons user ccarlstead)
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By AP/St. Louis Public Radio

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Missouri education officials are skipping the writing and complex problem assessments on state exams to save money.

The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education estimates that suspending those parts of the tests will save about $1.3 million per year. Administering the standardized tests costs more than $8 million per year. The sections will return in the 2012-2013 year.

In one section, students must document their thought process and reasoning in their answers. The second requires students to write an essay or story. Both must be hand-scored instead graded by a computer.

The changes will affect tests for English, algebra and biology. It also will affect some grade-level tests for science, communication arts and math.

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