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      Parents: schools push kids too hard on PASS test

      It's test-taking time for middle school students in Horry County schools.

      They're gearing up to take the Palmetto Assessment for State Standard or PASS tests that are used to measure compliance with the federal No Child Left Behind act. Schools that fail to achieve "adequate yearly progress" under the law face various sanctions.

      Middle schools have been holding pep rallies to get students motivated for the tests that will be administered next week. Some parents claim their kids are under too much pressure to perform well on the tests.

      One parent complained about the rallies in a post on NewsChannel 15's Facebook page. "My 8th grader came home without a voice, he'd screamed so much. I think there is WAY too much attention on PASS testing."

      Horry County school board vice chairman Joe DeFeo agrees, but says there's not much the school district can do about it.

      "The state and federal governments put too much emphasis on testing," DeFeo said. "The problem is, the testing is mandatory. They force teachers to teach to the test."

      DeFeo says the federal government and, to a lesser extent, the state government need to get out of the local school district's business.

      What do you think about standardized testing in schools? Leave a comment below and tell us why you think they're a good or bad way to measure what students learn.